What is the best way to increase your thinking power? Simply by running or cycling. This is the result of a recent study by the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.
In order to document the increased brain activity during movement, the method of electroencephalography (EEG) was applied in an extensive study. During the study phase, people had to solve tasks that claimed their visual working memory. They either walked on the treadmill or pedalled. Others remained calmly standing or sitting. The astonishing result: As soon as the test persons started to move, the working memory performance was better.
Exercise increases memory performance
The data measured by electroencephalography show that the brain was able to process information in the working memory more efficiently during movement. Even when standing, better brain performance could be achieved. The worst results were achieved while sitting. Obviously, the human brain functions best during movement.
The researchers Gordon Dodwell, Dr. Thomas Töllner and Professor Hermann J. Müller of the Chair of General and Experimental Psychology of the LMU assume that the results will influence further research on working memory. “Our results indicate that our brain functions best when we actively move,” says Thomas Töllner. Until now, research has mainly been carried out with sedentary subjects.
The worst results were achieved while sitting
What does this mean for the working world?
The results of the study could have an enormous impact on the world of work. Provided, of course, that the findings are implemented consistently. Then at least working at a standing desk could be more effective than sitting. So far, this form of work in the offices does not seem to be established at least yet. But how movement and work could be brought together remains to be explored. Perhaps digitized voice applications would be a possibility, the researchers suggest.