Relationship Between Involvement in Long- Term Regular Physical Activity and Memory: Preliminary Results
Background. Ageing of the Western Society has become both – economic and social concern. Ageing has both – biological and psychological consequences, and, with changes in the brain due to ageing (e.g. decline in the brain volume in frontal, parietal and temporal areas, as well as hippocampus (Colcombe et al., 2003; Erickson, Voss, Shaurya, Basak, & Szabo, 2011)), there are changes in cognitive functioning. For the past years, research has indicated a relationship between aerobic activity interventions and increase in episodic memory (Ruscheweyh et al., 2011), face recognition associative memory (Hayes et al., 2015) and working memory (Erickson et al., 2011). Methods. The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between involvement in aerobic physical activities and memory; thus 43 seniors aged from 65 to 85 (M = 71.86, SD = 5.09, 23% male) were included in the study. Based on their physical activity experience, participants were divided into three groups – seniors with longterm aerobic physical activity experience (n = 16), seniors that have recently taken up aerobic physical activities (n = 19) and seniors not involved in physical activities (n = 8). Results. The preliminary data indicated relationship between long-term involvement in physical activities and working memory, as well as negative relationship between sedentary lifestyle and overall cognitive abilities. Conclusions. As this is still a work in progress, one of the limitations being the small sample, these results can be considered only as a tendency. Another limitation is the unequal gender distribution. This study was funded by the Latvian National Research Programme BIOMEDICINE 2014–2017.
Keywords: aerobic physical activity, associative memory, long-term memory, short-term memory, working
Latvian National Research Programme BIOMEDICINE 2014–2017.
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