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Exercise Breaks Improve Your Memory

21 May 2018 No Comment

Did you catch the latest article on Neurosciencenews.com? If not, you’re in luck, because I did! In the article, a summary of research was outlined which showed the benefits of microbreaks for students and adults alike.

According to the study, it was shown that taking a break and doing a series of brief exercises led to:

  1. An improved ability to focus attention
  2. An improved ability to retain information, and
  3. Improvements in overall learning ability.

To read more, see below.

New research from a team of scientists at McMaster University suggests that brief exercise breaks during lectures can help university students focus their attention, retain information and improve overall learning.

While the benefits of exercise are well-known for school-aged children, this is the first study to examine the benefits for adult students. The findings are published online in the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.

For the study, researchers examined three groups of first-year Introductory Psychology students, who were tasked with watching a 50-minute online lecture. One cohort performed a series of brief, calisthenic exercises at regular breaks during the lecture, another took breaks but played a video game, and a final group did not take any break.

When tested, researchers found that the students who exercised paid more attention throughout the lecture, which translated into improved comprehension of the material both immediately afterwards and 48 hours later.

“Our attention has limited capacity and we all know that staying focused is critical for learning during a lecture,” explains Jennifer Heisz, an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and senior author of the study.

“The classic lecture remains the primary mode of content delivery in most university courses, so determining effective strategies—in this case exercise breaks—to help maintain attention may promote better learning,” she says.

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