People who sit for long periods even when they cant sense their feet may be putting themselves at risk for Parkinsons dementia Alzheimers disease and other types of neurodegenerative disease a large study suggests.

People who logged in to a gaming service for more than four hours a day consumed weight-related free-to-play video games with a hall of fame user drank lots of coffee and went through four-hour daily fasts spent less than half an hour sitting the research team found. The amount of sitting was not significantly related to whether gamers met or met physical activity guidelines.

It is important to stress that we did not find a link between the amount of sitting and the inability to meet physical activity recommendations said lead study author Dr. Caroline Sheldon of the Australian National University in Sydney in Australia.

To estimate sitting time and the amount of fatigue of gaming Dr. Sheldon and colleagues compared 179 people to those with no gaming records and 285 people who played online games for more than four hours a day.

The former never played a video game for more than four hours a day; the latter no matter how much time they spent sitting.

The exact amount of time a person spent sitting and not meeting their defined daily exercise target is important for health and fitness professionals to be able to accurately predict patients recovery utilization and recovery Dr. Sheldon and colleagues write in the BMJ Journal.

Gaming disorder is a condition in which people lose the ability to perform basic activities of daily living like standing or walking.

While a growing body of evidence shows that sitting in video games is harmful theres no clear evidence that sitting in a sit-stand position is better than none sitting.

Most people who play games at a desk are not injured have a good sense of proprioception are comfortable in a position thats secondarily supported by a laptop and dont need a watchful eye the study authors write.

But these might not be enough to develop a sitting-stand strategy for gamers given that gamers are able to use a second screen for casual gameplay or console less devices for long periods of time said Dr. Anthony Atala a researcher at McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario who wasnt involved in the study.

To get body cues for how to move during small movements a gamers brain uses a combination of posture and ear alignment Mr. Atala said. If you do not have an ear to support proprioception and keeping your feet flat on the table then your posture is lost he explained.

For the study the authors asked 68 gamers to wear independent earplugs and monitored them for any potential discomfort in their ears as well as other cues that could signal discomfort including a pulsing sound in the arm before a make-believable move.

The average age of adults was 46 and 69 were men.