Need To Memorise Something? Try Walking

Faye Prior | 2014-09-27 07:11:03

Sure enough regular physical activity is good for our brains. It helps to improve our memory, mood, ability to multitask and solve problems, and even improves academic performance.

I’m sure everyone has heard of exam tips like ‘do the exam in the same perfume that you revised in’, or ‘listen to opera music’. I also have vivid memories of people walking to their school and university exams whilst reading their notes at the same time, with undue care for avoiding lamp posts. But little did they probably know, that actually putting physical activity and memory tasks together, and doing them at the same time is useful if you need to memorise something sharpish.

Research shows that people who engage in some light physical activity like walking, whilst working on a memory task like memorising foreign words and their translations, are more successful at then recalling what they had memorised some 24 hours later.

Of course, nobody should be memorising for exams, education is all about learning. But this is an excellent tip for anybody who needs to memorise anything from their dinner guests names to an Oscars acceptance speech. Just remember to pay attention to where you are walking!

Faye Prior (Researcher)


Schmidt-Kassow et al., (2014). Treadmill walking during vocabulary encoding improves verbal long-term memory. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 10, 24.