Aug 7, 2015

Climb a Tree to Get Smart

Dynamic activities like climbing a tree could be a simple way to improve your working memory, according to new research.

Researchers found activities that require awareness of the position of different body parts and strength to complete movement, are linked to benefits of an individual’s working memory. These activities include anything from climbing a tree to balancing on a beam.

They evaluated participants between the ages of 18 and 59 while testing their working memory before and after the completion of various dynamic activities, such as climbing a tree, walking on narrow beams, running barefoot, and navigating obstacle courses. The study found that participants experienced a 50 percent improvement in their working memory after completing these exercises. Just a few minutes of such activity can produce beneficial effects on working memory.

“By taking a break to do activities that are unpredictable and require us to consciously adapt our movements, we can boost our working memory to perform better in the classroom and the boardroom,” study leader Ross Alloway said. He emphasized that by doing physical activity that makes us think, we are exercising our brains as well.

Those in the medical field say working memory helps humans actively process information, making it easier to perform day-to-day tasks and often increasing performance. The findings were published in the journal Perceptual and Motor Skill. Some of us are already smart enough to not climb a tree.

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