Keep Your Brain Young -- Take the Stairs

Okay.  So you wanna know the next news-breaking way to stay young?

Climb stairs.

That's just what a new study found at Concordia University.  Taking the stairs is normally associated with keeping your body strong and healthy. But new research shows that it improves your brain’s health too — and that education also has a positive effect, according to

Scientists at Concordia University’s Montreal-based PERFORM Centre have found 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, say researchers. This study now shows that older adults need to be doing this, too.  (And that goes for all the healthy people, both young and old, who have "handicapped" signs in their cars and jump out and race into the supermarket.  Sorry, a pet peeve.) 

I used to work at a large corporation where it was against the culture to take the elevator.  True, we only had three floors.  But taking them two or three times a day, traveling from one end of the building to the other, got to be tiresome.   However, when I took at job at another company, and the stairs were locked, I found that I missed that little spurt of activity during the day. 

Results were clear: the more flights of stairs climbed, and the more years of schooling completed, the younger the brain, the study found.

Researchers point out that 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.

It's simple.  And it works.  


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