Washington D.C.: Taking the stairs not only helps you keep your body strong and healthy, but also helps you keep your brain young, according to a recent study.
The Concordia University study also showed that education also can significantly help slow down the ticking of the grey-matter ageing clock.
Researchers led by Jason Steffener show that the more flights of stairs a person climbs and the more years of school a person completes, the "younger" their brain physically appears.
The researchers found that brain age decreases by 0.95 years for each year of education, and by 0.58 years for every daily flight of stairs climbed, i.e., the stairs between two consecutive floors in a building.
There already exist many 'Take the stairs' campaigns in office environments and public transportation centres, says Steffener, adding that this study shows that these campaigns should also be expanded for older adults, so that they can work to keep their brains young.
This study shows that education and physical activity affect the difference between a physiological prediction of age and chronological age and that people can actively do something to help their brains stay young, he added.
In comparison to many other forms of physical activity, taking the stairs is something most older adults can and already do at least once a day, unlike vigorous forms of physical activity, noted Steffener. This is encouraging because it demonstrates that a simple thing like climbing stairs has great potential as an intervention tool to promote brain health.
The study is published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.