There have been countless studies suggesting that sitting in an office chair for most of the day can be very bad for your health, however reports
are now emerging claiming that sitting for long periods of time can also make
Sabine Schaefer, a
researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany, studied the effect of walking on
working memory by comparing the performance of both children and young adults.
According to Schaefer’s results, the working memory performance of both
age groups improved when walking at their chosen speed compared with when
She found the contrast was made
clear when the more difficult versions of the working memory task were more
pronounced among the children than the adults. This suggests that mental
performance is actually better in dual-task situations.
Create your ‘head space’
According to the paper which
reported the research, the scientists found "an increase in arousal or
activation associated with physical activity… which then can be invested into
the cognition". Basically, walking increases your resources of energy,
which you can then invest in thinking.
We often have creative breakthroughs when our minds are disengaged from
the actual problem. Therefore we tend to get the best ideas when we have
sufficient ‘head space’, something which is achieved by taking out physical
activity such as walking and jogging.
This new research therefore reinforces previous studies that suggest
that being tied to your desk all day is bad for our minds as well as our