Cognitive Function During Low-Intensity Walking: A Test of the Treadmill Workstation

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of walking at self-selected speed on an active workstation on cognitive performance.

Methods:

Sixty-six participants (n = 27 males, 39 females; mean age = 21.06 ± 1.6 years) completed a treadmill-desk walking and a seated control condition, separated by 48 hours. During each condition, participants completed computerized versions of the Stroop test, a modified flanker task, and a test of reading comprehension.

Results:

No significant differences in response speed or accuracy were found between walking and sitting conditions for any the cognitive tests.

Conclusions:

These findings reveal that performance on cognitive tasks, including executive control processes, are not impaired by walking on an active workstation. Implementing active workstations into offices and classrooms may help to decrease sedentariness without impairing task performance.

Alderman and Mattina are with the Dept of Exercise Science and Sport Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. Olson is with the Dept of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.