The Effects of Strength Training on Memory in Older Adults

Click name to view affiliation

Margie E. Lachman
Search for other papers by Margie E. Lachman in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Shevaun D. Neupert
Search for other papers by Shevaun D. Neupert in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Rosanna Bertrand
Search for other papers by Rosanna Bertrand in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Alan M. Jette
Search for other papers by Alan M. Jette in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

The authors examined whether resistance training has an effect on working memory span. Participants included 210 community-residing older adults with at least one disability from the Strong for Life program, a randomized controlled trial that examined the effects of home-based resistance exercise. Memory was assessed with the WAIS backward digit span at baseline and 3 and 6 months into the intervention. Although there were no differences between the experimental treatment and control groups in average levels of memory change, within the treatment group change in resistance level during the intervention was a significant predictor of memory change, controlling for age, education, sex, and disability level. The results suggest that strength training can benefit memory among older adults, especially when using higher resistance levels.

Lachman is with the Dept. of Psychology, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454. Neupert is with the Dept. of Psychology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7650. Bertrand is with Health Policy and Clinical Research, Abt Associates, 55 Wheeler Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138. Jette is with the Health & Disability Research Institute, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215..

  • Collapse
  • Expand