Send to

Choose Destination
PeerJ. 2016 Jul 20;4:e2254. doi: 10.7717/peerj.2254. eCollection 2016.

The relationship between different exercise modes and visuospatial working memory in older adults: a cross-sectional study.

Author information

School of Kinesiology, Shanghai University of Sport , Shanghai , China.
Division of Kinesiology and Health, University of Wyoming , Laramie , WY , United States of America.
China Table Tennis College, Shanghai University of Sport , Shanghai , China.


The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between different exercise modes and visuospatial working memory in healthy older adults. A cross-sectional design was adopted. A total of 111 healthy older adults were enrolled in the study. They were classified by the exercise-related questionnaire to be in an open-skill group, closed-skill group or sedentary group. In experiment 1, the participants performed a visuospatial working memory task. The results indicated that both closed-skill (p < 0.05) and open-skill (p < 0.01) groups reached a higher accuracy than the sedentary group. Experiment 2 examined whether the exercise-induced benefit of working memory was manifested in passive maintenance or active manipulation of working memory which was assessed by visuospatial short-term memory task and visuospatial mental rotation task, respectively. The results showed that the open-skill (p < 0.01) group was more accurate than the sedentary group in the visuospatial short-term memory task, whereas the group difference in the visuospatial mental rotation task was not significant. These findings combined to suggest that physical exercise was associated with better visuospatial working memory in older adults. Furthermore, open-skill exercises that demand higher cognitive processing showed selective benefit for passive maintenance of working memory.


Exercise modes; Older adults; Visuospatial working memory

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PeerJ, Inc. Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center