Interesting article in ScienceDaily says that using the legs, particularly in weight-bearing exercise, sends signals to the brain that are vital for the production of healthy neural cells. The study gives doctors new clues as to why patients who are bed-ridden often rapidly decline in health. They not only lose muscle mass, but their body chemistry is altered at the cellular level and even their nervous system is adversely impacted.
The study was done on mice, but it doesn’t take much of a leap to see the implications for you and me. I’m sure it’ll spark more study but it seems like a good idea to avoid long periods of inactivity.