Studies continue to reveal a strong connection between physical activity and brain fitness—and now between inactivity and distractibility. Researchers found that people who sat for longer than 20 minutes at a time were less able to resist distractions and maintain concentration. “Several studies have examined the relationship between different types of sedentary behaviors such as TV viewing and cognitive functions in children and adults,” said lead study author Dominika Pindus, PhD, professor of kinesiology and community health at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Few studies, however, have examined the relationship between prolonged sedentary time and cognitive functions.

“Our key finding was that people who spent more time in prolonged sedentary bouts were more easily distracted . . . If you make sure to break up your sitting time with brief bouts of physical activity, could that reduce how distracted you will be? And, if it does, what is driving this effect? This is something we want to explore.”

Find the study in the International Journal of Obesity (2021: doi:10.1038/s41366-020-00734w).

See also: Seeking Relief From Digital Distraction?