The study by Boston University researchers included 29 young adults (ages 18-31) and 31 older adults (ages 55-82) who wore a small device called an ActiGraph, which recorded information including how many steps each took, how vigorous the steps were and how much time it involved.

The researchers found that older adults who took more steps per day had better memory performance.
The association between the number of steps taken was strongest with a task that required recalling which name went with a person's face - the same type of everyday task that older adults often have difficulty with.
In young adults, the number of steps taken was not associated with memory performance.
"Our findings that physical activity is positively associated with memory is appealing for a variety of reasons," said corresponding author Scott Hayes, assistant professor of at Boston University School of Medicine.

The researchers point out that staying physically active can take a variety of forms from formal exercise programmes to small changes, such as walking or taking the stairs.
The researchers emphasise that the objective measurement of physical activity was a key component of the current study, as the majority of studies to date have used self-report questionnaires, which can be impacted by memory failures or biases.
The study was published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.


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