Jan 25, 2023
Study Suggests 10 Minutes of Moderate Physical Activity Helps Brain Health

A new study strapped activity monitors to the thighs of nearly 4,500 people in the United Kingdom and tracked their 24-hour movements for seven days. Researchers then examined how participants’ behavior affected their short-term memory, problem-solving, and processing skills.

The reason? They wanted to look at all the things people do daily and know which ones will best help or hurt the brain.

studyA recent story from CrossroadsToday.com detailed the study’s findings and how moderate physical activity can help brain health.

Below is an excerpt from the CrossroadsToday.com story.

Moderate physical activity is typically defined as brisk walking or bicycling or running up and down stairs. Vigorous movement, such as aerobic dancing, jogging, running, swimming and biking up a hill, will boost your heart rate and breathing.

The study, published Monday in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, found doing just under 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous exertion each day improved study participants’ working memory but had its biggest impact on executive processes such as planning and organization.

The cognitive improvement was modest, but as additional time was spent doing the more energetic workout the benefits grew, said study author John Mitchell, a Medical Research Council doctoral training student at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health at University College London.

“Given we don’t monitor participants’ cognition over many years, this may be simply that those individuals who move more tend to have higher cognition on average,” he said. “However, yes, it could also imply that even minimal changes to our daily lives can have downstream consequences for our cognition.”

Steven Malin, an associate professor in the department of kinesiology and health at Rutgers University in New Jersey, told CNN the study provides new insight in how activity interacts with sedentary behavior as well as sleep.

“Understanding the interaction of sleep and various physical activities is often not examined,” said Malin, who was not involved in the new study.

While the study had some limitations, including a lack of knowledge about the health of the participants, the findings illustrate how “the accumulation of movement patterns in a day to a week to a month is just as, if not more important, than just getting outside for a single session of exercise,” he said.

To read the full story from CrossroadsToday.com, click here. 

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