In a ground-breaking global study, inactive gamers who increased exercise levels sawtheir cognitive function, wellbeing and gaming performance dramatically improve.Could exercise be the key to boosting brain power?

Today, ASICS reveals exercise can significantly improve cognitive function and advancemental performance. From boosting short-term memory to increasing concentration levels, exercise enhances brain powerand could be the solution to helping us pass exams or excel at work. In a unique experiment, ASICS invited competitivegamers from around the world, specialising in mind games such as Chess and Esports and who rely on their cognitivefunction, to start an exercise programme. After four months of regular exercise, their minds were significantly sharpenedand they performed at an even higher competitive level.

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Participants’international gaming rankings improved by an incredible 75%proving, yet again, the close interplaybetween our mind and body. The mind gamers’cognitive function was boosted on average by 10%, with problem solvingabilities improving by 9%, short-term memory increasing by 12% and processing speed and alertness improving by 10%.Group confidence levels increased by 44%, concentration improved by 33% and anxiety levels plummeted by 43%.The research shows exercise can be as effective at boosting brain function as learning a second language, daily reading,playing a new musical instrument or completing a puzzle every day.

Professor Brendon Stubbs, a renowned researcher in movement and the mind, developed and led the experiment. Eachgamer followed a training programme designed by runner turned international coach, Andrew Kastor. The programmeincluded medium impact cardio and strength training and increased the gamers exercise levels to 150 minutes a week.Professor Stubbs measured the mental improvement of the participants based on their performance in their mind games,cognitive tests and wellbeing questionnaires over the course of their four-month research period.

Commenting on the results, Professor Brendon Stubbs said:“We all know that exercise is good for our mental and physicalhealth but the impact on cognitive functioning has been less explored. We wanted to examine the effects of exercise onpeople who depend on their cognitive abilities – competitive mind gamers. Our results show significant improvements intheir cognitive functioning, including concentration levels and problem-solving abilities.”

“Exercise stimulates cell growth in the brain and rapidly increases blood flow to the hippocampus andprefrontal cortex, mechanisms that enable us to better retain memories, process information and problemsolve quickly. If exercise can significantly increase the mental performance of professional mind gamers,imagine what it could do for the rest of us. From increasing focus when revising for an exam or improvingalertness before a work presentation, exercise truly can enhance brain power.”