It turns out that there is a direct relationship between the pace of walking and the speed with which our brain processes information and issues new ideas. This conclusion was recently made by scientists at Duke University in North Carolina, analyzing the results of a series of experiments. The researchers attracted several hundred middle-aged people, studied the speed with which they walk, and compared these data with the physical and physiological parameters, as well as with the mental abilities of the subjects.
The fact that our walking style is related to the central nervous system was known before, but new data has allowed American scientists to talk about using similar tests to detect early signs of dementia.
But back to the relationship between walking and mental abilities. It turned out that the difference in IQ between the fastest and slowest participants at the age of 45 was 16 points. Moreover, both the rate of movement natural for the subjects and the maximum speed that they could develop at the request of the researchers were measured.
The physical indicators of the slow participants: the compression force of an object by hand, hand-eye coordination – also differed for the worse, as did the health indicators (condition of the lungs, teeth, and immune system).
Babies with lower IQs and linguistic abilities grew up in slower adults
Scientists claim that genetic factors can explain the relationship between pace of walking, brain abilities, and health. So, improving brain health, you can affect the physical condition and as a result increase the pace of walking.
What is interesting, according to the head of the research group, Line Rasmussen, the first such experiment was conducted on relatively young subjects – usually representatives of older age groups participate in them.
The study involved 904 men and women from New Zealand – scientists have been monitoring their health status since they were three years old. Each year, participants underwent numerous tests, the final of which took place when they turned 45. Scientists found that children with lower IQ, linguistic abilities, motor skills, the ability to tolerate frustration and weak emotional control grew up in slower adults.
A study using MRI revealed that slow subjects have less total brain area and density of its cortex, and in general their brain is more “old”. This is also reflected in the appearance: such participants look older – this, in any case, was considered by those who estimated the age of the subjects from the photograph.
Scientists say that all this can be a consequence of the chosen lifestyle, but the opposite can also be true. The final points on this issue have yet to be set by scientists, but each of us can draw useful conclusions for ourselves right now.