Background Movement behaviours (eg, sedentary behaviour (SB), moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA), light intensity physical activity (LIPA) and sleep) are linked to cognition, yet the relative importance of each component is unclear, and not yet explored with compositional methodologies.
Objective To (i) assess the associations of different components of daily movement and participant’s overall cognition, memory and executive function, and (ii) understand the relative importance of each individual component for cognition.
Methods The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) is a prospective birth cohort study of UK-born adults. At age 46, participants consented to wear an accelerometer device and complete tests of verbal memory and executive function.
Compositional linear regression was used to examine cross-sectional associations between 24-hour movement behaviours and standardised cognition scores. Isotemporal substitution was performed to model the effect of reallocating time between components of daily movement on cognition.
Results The sample comprised 4481 participants (52% female). Time in MVPA relative to SB, LIPA and sleep was positively associated with cognition after adjustments for education and occupational physical activity, but additional adjustment for health status attenuated associations.
SB relative to all other movements was robustly positively associated with cognition.
Modelling time reallocation between components revealed an increase in cognition centile after MVPA theoretically replaced 9 min of SB (OR=1.31; 95% CI 0.09 to 2.50), 7 min of LIPA (1.27; 0.07 to 2.46) or 7 min of sleep (1.20; 0.01 to 2.39).
Conclusions Relative to time spent in other behaviours, greater MVPA and SB was associated with higher cognitive scores. Loss of MVPA time, given its smaller relative amount, appears most deleterious. Efforts should be made to preserve MVPA time, or reinforce it in place of other behaviours.
Data availability statement
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