Is Your Desk Making You Dumber?

Is your desk making you dumber? Quite possibly. We know the health risks associated with sitting too much, but new research from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development indicates that sitting down hampers mental performance when compared to walking.

It turns out that the mere act of moving at your own pace revs up your body’s energy resources. Researchers discovered “an increase in arousal or activation associated with physical activity… which then can be invested into the cognition.” What’s especially compelling is that walking at a fixed speed, such as on a treadmill, didn’t have the same effect on working memory as walking at the participants’ preferred pace.

How can you leverage this phenomenon at work? Take breaks throughout the day for restorative walks to de-stress, boost cognitive performance and improve your mood. Ideally, head outside for these walks to leverage the benefits of the great outdoors.

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(Photo credit: Nick Keppol/Flickr)