Association of Physical Activity on Memory and Executive Function: Population-Based National Sample of Older Adults

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between physical activity and various components related to memory and executive function among older adults. Data from the 2011–2012 and 2013–2014 NHANES were used (N = 2241; 60+ years of age). The Global Physical Activity Questionnaire was utilized to assess recreational engagement in moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity. The memory and executive assessments included the CERAD (Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease) Word Learning subset, the animal fluency test, and the digit symbol substitution test (DSST). Vigorous-intensity physical activity was positively associated with trial 1 of the CERAD Word List (β = 0.01; 95% CI, 0.003–0.02), the average of trials 1–3 for the CERAD Word List (β = 0.01; 95% CI, 0.0001–0.02), animal fluency task (β = 0.10; 95% CI, 0.05–0.15), and the DSST (β = 0.19; 95% CI, 0.08–0.29). Older individuals meeting vigorous-intensity physical activity guidelines had superior memory and executive function.

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Frith, E., Loprinzi, P.D. Association of Physical Activity on Memory and Executive Function: Population-Based National Sample of Older Adults. J Cogn Enhanc 3, 425–435 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41465-019-00127-6

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Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Epidemiology
  • Executive function
  • Gerontology
  • Health promotion
  • Verbal fluency