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New study reveals how small amounts of extra time spent in moderate and vigorous physical activity may be linked to a boost to brain power in middle age

A woman swimming on her back in the sea

The Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health’s (ISEH) and University College London’s (UCL) John Mitchell, MRC Doctoral Training Student, has recently published research with ISEH colleagues, Dr Jo Blodgett and Professor Mark Hamer, Chair in Sport and Exercise Medicine.

The research was a group study conducted with fellow researchers at UCL, Dr Barbara Jefferis and Professor Goya Wannamethee and Glasgow Calelonian University’s Professor Sebastian Chastin whom, as a collective, looked at how our 24-hour movements were associated with our cognitive functions in midlife.

In this study, the authors assessed closely the associations of different components of daily movement with participants from The 1970 British Cohort Study – they looked at their overall cognition, memory and executive function, to understand the relative importance of each individual component for cognition.