↓ Skip to main content

Physical activity improves cognition: possible explanations

Overview of attention for article published in Biogerontology, May 2017
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#40 of 453)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (87th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (92nd percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
10 tweeters
1 Facebook page


12 Dimensions

Readers on

102 Mendeley
Physical activity improves cognition: possible explanations
Published in
Biogerontology, May 2017
DOI 10.1007/s10522-017-9708-6
Pubmed ID

Blanka Koščak Tivadar


Good cognitive abilities (CA) enable autonomy, improve social inclusion and act preventively. Regular physical activity (PA) reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) and, at the same time, it reduces the decline of CA and stimulates neurogenesis. So PA in connection with cognitive training, nutrition and social interaction has a positive effect on general CA and the central nervous system, the central executor, memory and attention, and reduces the likelihood of developing dementia. Our objective was to examine which sort and intensity of PA is preferred. We did a review, restricted only to human studies, of transparent scientific articles and sample surveys carried out and published in the period between 2001 and 2016 based on the keywords: age, aging, physical activity, physical abilities, cognitive abilities, memory and Alzheimer's disease. According to results CA and PA interact, as an increasing PA of only 10% reduces the risk of dementia and AD significantly. However, there is a question of appropriate intensity of exercise. Low-intensity aerobic exercise has a positive effect on the visual spatial perception and attention, whereas moderate PA has a positive impact on general CA, working memory and attention, verbal memory and attention and vice versa. While the majority of experts recommends vigorous or moderate exercise, many of them warn that higher intensity requires more attention to PA and less to cognitive processes, particularly in terms of reducing reactions, selective attention and flexibility to tasks. There is also a further question what PA should be like. Although some experts believe that the best combination is aerobic PA and exercises against resistance, it is not entirely clear whether the improvement in CA is a result of cardiac vascular fitness. On the other hand, for most elderly it is more suitable to perform an alternative form (not anaerobic) of PA due to comorbidity and actual fragility. We can conclude that PA has a positive effect on CA, but an appropriate intensity and the type of exercise remain unsolved. For the relevant findings it is absolutely necessary to have an interdisciplinary approach.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 10 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 102 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 102 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Unspecified 18 18%
Student > Master 17 17%
Student > Bachelor 15 15%
Student > Ph. D. Student 15 15%
Researcher 11 11%
Other 26 25%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 25 25%
Unspecified 22 22%
Medicine and Dentistry 14 14%
Neuroscience 13 13%
Sports and Recreations 10 10%
Other 18 18%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 16. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 21 July 2017.
All research outputs
of 13,593,005 outputs
Outputs from Biogerontology
of 453 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 263,669 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Biogerontology
of 14 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,593,005 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 92nd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 453 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 6.6. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 263,669 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 14 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its contemporaries.