Some People’s Brains Work Better While They Walk

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It has been widely believed for a long time that when an activity like walking is mixed with another endeavor, both suffer. According to the findings of the most recent study, that isn’t always the truth. Despite this, the new results do not necessarily imply that you should concentrate on a significant project while you are out for a stroll.

The fact that some of the test respondents found it simpler to multitask (that is, do more than one activity at once) than to single-task (that is, perform each task on its own) came as a surprise to the researchers who conducted the study. This was both surprising and unexpected since the majority of research in this area has shown that our performance suffers proportionally from the number of tasks that we are required to do at the same time.

What did the study find?

The level of performance that each participant was able to accomplish in this exercise while seated served as their own “baseline” for behavioral expectations. When walking was introduced to the same task as being performed while sitting, researchers observed that varied behaviors arose. Some persons performed worse than their sitting baseline, which was predicted based on prior studies, while others improved relative to their sitting baseline.

The results from the electroencephalogram, or EEG, indicated that the 14 people who improved their performance at the task while walking exhibited a shift in frontal brain activity. This change was not seen in the 12 persons who did not increase their performance. This difference in brain activity seen in those participants who improved their performance on the test is suggestive of enhanced brain flexibility or efficiency.

These recent discoveries demonstrate that the MoBI has the potential to show us how the brain reacts to walking as well as how the brain reacts to the job at hand. Extending the scope of this study to include older participants may help researchers locate a potential marker for “super agers,” often known as those whose cognitive abilities change very little with age. This marker might be helpful in assisting with a better understanding of what could be wrong with neurodegenerative illnesses.