There are numerous studies today about the benefits of exercise, how it would help us keep diseases at bay, keep us physically fit, and reduce mortality. New research now points to different benefits and physical activity has to offer. According to the new study, physical activity, especially coordinated sports, can help improve cognitive function in the long term.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Basel, Switzerland and the University of Tsukuba, Japan, sought to understand what sort of physical activities are most beneficial for which demographic. For this, the team relied on a large scale analysis of scientific literature.
One of the most prominent findings of this research was the benefit of coordinated sports for cognitive function across all age groups. Practitioners of such activities benefited from the coordination and challenging aspects of this. “To coordinate during a sport seems to be even more important than the total volume of the sporting activity,” explains one of the authors of this study, Dr. Sebastian Ludyga, Department of Sport, Exercise, and Health, University of Basel.
Most scope for improvement in cognitive functions is found to be during childhood and old age, cognitive development, and cognitive degradation phases, respectively. However, the study found that the same type and levels of coordinated sports activities benefit all age groups similarly. Thus, they can be combined for this purpose.
Furthermore, the researchers also noted that men and boys benefit more from intense physical activity, as compared to women. In the case of females, the positive benefits were said to have disappeared if the intensity was increased quickly.
The results of this study have been published in the Nature Human Behaviour journal.