Maddison Mellow

Optimising daily activity patterns for brain health in older adults

Award: 
Dementia Australia Research Foundation PhD Scholarship
Status: 
In Progress
Project Snapshot: 

Achieving enough physical activity and sleep, and limiting sedentary behaviour (e.g. prolonged sitting), improves brain function and reduces dementia risk in older adults. These three behaviours coexist to make up the 24-hour day, and to increase time spent in one of these, time must be taken away from another. We still do not know the best combination of these behaviours within a 24-hour time period for cognition or dementia risk in older adults. This project will investigate how brain health and function in older adults is affected by how much time is spent sleeping, engaging in physical activity or being sedentary across the 24-hour day. This information will be collated to understand “best day” patterns for optimal brain health and function in healthy older adults. The findings will contribute to the development of an interactive app which will predict how changing time use (e.g. reducing sitting time and increasing sleep) affects an individual’s brain health and function.