Researchers have discovered that obesity and spending too much time sitting shrinks the size of your brain, leading to mental decline. Not surprising, they have also confirmed that walking on a regular basis increases brain size and makes you smarter.
Never been accused of being a brainiac in your lifetime? It may be that you just haven't walked enough during the day according to researchers out of the University of Illinois. A complimentary study from the University of Tennessee found that on average Americans walk less than 50% of the amount necessary to maintain minimum levels of mental and physical health. TrekDesk treadmill desks offers a solution, allowing employees and students the opportunity to walk the entire day without leaving their desks; a proven means of improving health, boosting memory, productivity, cognitive abilities, and brain volume.
The Illinois study focused on a group of 65 year olds for a period of nine years. Using MRI technology they measured brain volumes and cognition over the span of the study and found the more they walked the more their brain volume and cognitive abilities increased. The study is significant, illustrating the increase in brain volume and function among a population age thought to be past its prime. Turns out not only can one teach an old dog new tricks, going for walks gives them a bigger brain as well.
The volume increases were most substantial in the pre-fontal and temporal regions of the brain normally associated with cognitive abilities. This area is normally responsible for the greatest mental deterioration due to aging but the study found regular walkers were 200% less likely to suffer cognitive declines due to aging then their less active counterparts.
Researchers have previously shown that sedentary lifestyles and obesity are correlated with a decrease in brain size, this is additional evidence that movement throughout the day can restore not only physical health but mental capacities as well.
The study participants that fared the best walked the most during the week, up to 10 miles per week however TrekDesk users can accomplish this amount of walking in a single day.
When it comes to walking, we believe the more the better. Our body's health mechanisms (mental and physical) have evolved over millions of years for a species that remained upright and in movement throughout the day. Study after study is showing that mental and physical health is dependent upon movement and, gauging the health of our nation, it is obvious 30-60 minutes a day is not enough.