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Public not aware of simple steps they can take to reduce risk of dementia, according to new research study

Published 12 September 2011

BUPA event participants

Only one in ten people realise that taking regular exercise is one of the best ways to reduce their risk of developing dementia, according to a survey commissioned by Alzheimer’s Society and Bupa.

This is despite the fact research has shown that regular exercise can reduce your risk of dementia by up to a third.

Over a quarter (28%) of people believed brain training and crosswords to be the best way to reduce the risk of developing dementia, despite the jury still being out on whether this can be effective.

Dr Anne Corbett, Alzheimer's Society's Research Manager, said:

'This research shows that many people don't realise physical activity can have a real impact in determining whether you develop dementia. Along with moderating alcohol intake, maintaining a regular weight and not smoking, taking regular exercise can actually reduce your dementia risk by up to a third.'

Exercising can not only reduce a person's risk of developing dementia, but can also prevent other diseases related to lifestyle. 3,500 people will take part in the Bupa Great North Run on 18 September to support Alzheimer's Society, Bupa's nominated charity for a third consecutive year.

Dr Graham Stokes, Bupa's Director of Dementia Care said:

'Lots of people believe that dementia is an inevitable part of old age - that's not the case at all and there's lots people can do to reduce their risk. Just 30 minutes of physical activity, five times a week will help reduce your risk of not only dementia, but also heart disease and diabetes. It doesn't have to be a vigorous workout - you can find ways to fit being active into your daily routine, such as walking, gardening or swimming.

If you're up for a challenge, supporting the Alzheimer's charities in a Bupa Great Run means you can get fit, help reduce your risk of dementia and raise money for a very worthwhile cause. As the UK's leading provider of dementia care, we're very pleased to be supporting Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer Scotland for a third year.'

Over 19,000 people have taken part in a Bupa Great Run for Alzheimer's Society in the last two years, raising over £2 million. The aim is to raise over £3.5 million by the end of the year.