The Mayo Clinic researchers, who studied 920 people between the ages of 70 and 93, found that the mental decline was even significantly lower in elderly people who both exercised and worked with computer.
According to the report published in the Mayo Clinic Proceeding, nearly 38 percent of participants who did not exercise and did not use a computer showed signs of mild cognitive impairment.
The condition which is the stage between normal age-related memory loss and early Alzheimer’s disease was also seen in just over 18 percent of those who did moderate exercise and also used a computer.
Some 36 percent of participants who did moderate exercise and used a computer had normal memory function.
“We know that from our previous studies, physical exercise is independently associated with better memory and computer use is independently associated with better memory,” said lead author Dr. Yonas Geda.
“We found that this combination had a synergistic interaction. It means two plus three becomes eight instead of just five.”
“Our argument is that perhaps the physical exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, and then the computer activity enhances the communication between nerve cells,” Geda added. “So the exercise brings the resources and raw material, and then the computer activity is implementing it.”