Exercise and Memory Experiment Intro

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It is no secret that exercise is important to an individual's physical and mental health. Physical exercise has been attributed to improved circulation and blood flow to the brain which results in improved overall health. The effect of aerobic exercise on one’s mental health is not as well understood. The increased cognitive benefits of aerobic exercise can be used to promote healthy lifestyles in all individuals young and old. We seek to find a correlation between physical activity, specifically aerobic exercise, and increased memory function among young adults in college. There would be tremendous benefits to student’s academic performance once this correlation is recognized and promoted.

There had always been theories suggesting a relationship between exercise and mental health but until recently there were no studies scientific backing to support this claim. However in 1997 a Meta-Analysis by a group of psychologists showed that there exist a correlation between exercise and cognition. The series of studies had shown that although short periods of exercise did not have a meaningful impact prolonged periods of exercise showed improvement in cognitive abilities. They concluded that there is a positive relationship between physical fitness and mental health. Etnier, Jennifer L., Han, Myungwoo, Landers, Daniel M., Nowell, Priscilla, Petruzzello, Steven J. (1997).

Researchers have long studied correlations between mental health and physical fitness or exercise. One study at Utah State University worked with young adults. The researcher hypothesized that there is a positive correlation between working memory capacity and the level of physical activity of individuals between the ages of 19 and 30. This study measured the level of physical activity of the participants by obtaining their recent history of level of physical activity. Once obtained the participants were given a reading assignment and then asked to recall what they had...
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