I recently had the unique opportunity to serve as an advisor for the development of the next XPRIZE. Many of you may have heard of the XPRIZE for space, and this new prize is, to a degree, similar. The new XPRIZE is being developed to help spur research in the field of longevity. As such, unlike the space prize, in which a finite goal could be easily established, developing a goal that would serve as a surrogate for longevity is more of a challenge. Nonetheless, it is a work in progress.
How does simply moving around affect the brain? For the past several years I’ve been doing my best to get out the information that shows how aerobic exercise benefits the brain by increasing the growth of new brain cells, as well as reducing the risk for brain degeneration. However, it looks like most adults are not achieving the 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity/week recommended by the 2018 US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Physical Activity Guidelines. In fact, this level of physical activity is only achieved by 57% of adults aged 40-49, and a paltry 26% of those aged 60-69.
That said, researchers recently set about exploring whether simply moving around would have a beneficial impact on brain health. They designed a study of 2,354 participants (with an average age of 53) that ran for three years. The subjects wore an accelerometer that basically determined both the number of steps they took each day as well as the intensity level of their activity. Continue reading