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Physical activities such as climbing a tree, running barefoot and navigating obstacles, even for a few minutes a day, can improve cognitive abilities. The study shows that physical activities that require people to control their bodies while processing new information helps improve working memory.

“This research suggests that by doing activities that make us think, we can exercise our brains as well as our bodies,” said Ross Alloway, a research associate at the University of North Florida. “This research has wide-ranging implications for everyone from kids to adults. 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.”

“Improving working memory can have a beneficial effect on so many areas in our life, and it’s exciting to see that proprioceptive activities can enhance it in such a short period of time,” said Tracy Alloway, an associate professor at the University of North Florida, in a press release.

The study is published in Perceptual and Motor Skills.

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Photo, feets in water: Juho Holmi
Photo, climbing in tree: Lee Haywood

Written by Trine Plambech

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