Study Shows That People Are Smarter On Their Feet Versus Sitting At Their Desks

We’ve learned the many ways that sitting at a desk all day can kill you. It’s a big reason why Business Insider’s Henry Blodget is a big proponent of standing desks. 

And now there’s more research to support the fact that being on your feet is not only better for your physical health, but it actually makes you smarter. 

That’s the latest from a study, “Cognitive Performance Is Improved While Walking: Differences In Cognitive — Sensorimotor Couplings Between Children And Young Adults,” by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.

The study looked at how children and young adults performed cognitive tasks while walking on a treadmill versus sitting. During each session, participants were given seven minutes to get comfortable walking on the treadmill. Then they performed a series of tasks, labelled “N-back” tasks, that involved memory recall and a “series of 26 digits from 1 to 9 presented via loudspeakers. All responses were noted by the experimenter and later scored as correct or false alarms.”

They researchers found that:

“Participants in both age groups improved their cognitive performance when walking at their preferred speed as opposed to sitting or walking at a fixed, non-preferred speed. We conclude that the interaction of walking and cognitive performance is influenced by sharing resources between two tasks, and that performance improvements in cognition may be caused by an exercise-induced activation of resources.”

This supports the theory for “dual-tasking,” when done on your own terms.

NOW READ: 15 Ways Your Desk Job Is Destroying Your Body >

walking and performing cognitive tasks, dual tasking graph

Photo: Max Planck Institute


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