Excessive Physical Strain Increases Risk of Dementia

It turns out that hard physical work causes many other problems other than back pain.
Deniz Yildiran

It's been always suggested that exercise is vital for better life quality. Any type of physical exercise works, the harder the better, you might think. However, it is not the case as the scientists have proved otherwise. 

A recent study from the University of Copenhagen indicated that people who deal with hard physical work are more prone to developing dementia than those who work sedentarily.


Connecting hard physical work with dementia

Previous studies had found that hard physical work had a harsh impact on heart blood circulation, preventing blood from reaching the brain. This could cause cardiovascular diseases in turn. However, the other researchers looking for the connection between dementia and excessive physical work weren't able to find one, per researchers. 

“Before the study, we assumed that hard physical work was associated with a higher risk of dementia. It is something other studies have tried to prove, but ours is the first to connect the two things convincingly,” says Kirsten Nabe-Nielsen, who led the research.

In this study, researchers studied data from 4,721 Danish men, who were 40‐59 years old at baseline and reported the type of work they did on a daily basis back in 1970 and 1971.

Until the participants turned 60 years old, their records were tracked by the self‐reported questionnaire data, and dementia was identified through national registers. 

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It was found out that men with hard physical activity jobs had a 55% higher risk of developing dementia than those who had sedentary jobs. In general, construction workers who are bound to lift heavy and exhaust themselves more than the average person are advised to strengthen their body capacity.

“For example, the WHO guide to preventing dementia and disease on the whole mentions physical activity as an important factor. But our study suggests that it must be a ‘good’ form of physical activity, which hard physical work is not. Guides from the health authorities should therefore differentiate between physical activity in your spare time and physical activity at work, as there is reason to believe that the two forms of physical activity have opposite effects,” Nabe-Nielsen explained.

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