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Approved research

Cognitive function, physical activity and age: analysis of the UK Biobank

Principal Investigator: Professor Thomas Yates
Approved Research ID: 10813
Approval date: November 2nd 2015

Lay summary

We main to investigate the association of daily physical activity time (walking, moderate, vigorous) and sedentary time (computer use, driving and TV viewing) on indices of cognitive function throughout different ages in adulthood in order to identify where (at what age) associations between physical activity and age is strongest and what physical activities are likely to maximise the effect. Declining cognitive function is an inevitable consequence of aging. However, research has shown that degree of cognitive impairment is associated with, or improved by, the amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity undertaken in older adults. Physical activity has also been associated with cognitive function in younger and middle-aged adults. However, previous research has not adequately quantified the association between different types of physical activity, sedentary behaviours, cognitive function and age. This proposal therefore seeks to address this need in order to provide insight into how cognitive decline may be targeted in the future. We will quantify the extent to which different types of physical activity and sedentary behaviour are associated with measures of cognitive function and whether these associations vary across different age groups. This will enable assessment of what physical activities are most strongly associated with cognitive function and how the strength of association varies with age. This analysis will use the full cohort where possible. Included cogntive function variables will be analysed on a pairwise basis