'Moderate levels of exercise improve your
short term memory' new research shows
NEW research from Edge Hill University shows that
exercising at moderate intensity improves the accuracy of a person's short term
Tests carried out on healthy, active people aged 18 to 35 revealed that moderate to
intense running or cycling for 30 minutes improved the accuracy of short term
When asked to remember a list of associated items such as household building
terms including roof, door and wall, people who hadn't exercised before the
recall test were more likely to remember 'false' associated words in the
list, such as saying window when it wasn't there.
Those who had exercised however accurately remembered more words and didn't show
'false memory' in the test.
Another experiment also showed that exercising before learning the list of words
also benefited immediate recall.
David Marchant, Reader of Sport and Exercise Psychology, who conducted the
research said:- "We wanted to test how physical arousal through an acute
bout of aerobic exercise affects memory. Previous published research shows mixed
results and we were particularly keen to test the accuracy of short term memory.
In certain types of physical arousal such as emotional or stress, short term
memory is affected and mistakes are more common. After exercise (in this case we
tested cyclists and runners) we found this wasn't the case with more correct
The University's Research Investment Fund (RIF) supported the study which was
presented on Tuesday, 13 December 2016, at the annual conference of the British
Over the coming months the research will be developed to look at whether factors
such as a person's natural memory ability, fitness level or other physical
factors affect the accuracy of short term memory in this context.
Other research from Edge Hill's Department of Sport and Physical Activity will
also be presented at the conference, including how a footballer's belief they
can control the goalkeeper can actually improve their accuracy in penalty