Strong relationship found between strength and brain health
Researchers at the University of Manchester, led by Dr Joseph Firth, have found that on average stronger people perform better in every test of brain function.
The researchers analysed the data of 475,397 people using data from the UK Biobank. Grip strength was used as the measure of strength and there were a variety of mental tests used to judge it against; reaction speed, logical problem solving, and multiple different tests of memory.
“When taking multiple factors into account such as age, gender, bodyweight and education, our study confirms that people who are stronger do indeed tend to have better functioning brains,” said Dr Firth.
This relationship between strength and brain health had been found in people over 55 previously, but this study highlights this relationship existing in people younger than 55 too.
Dr Firth suggests that the next step is to investigate whether muscle building exercises can directly lead to improved mental functionality.
"...what we need now, are more studies to test if we can actually make our brains healthier by doing things which make our muscles stronger – such as weight training.”
"These sorts of novel interventions, such as weight training, could be particularly beneficial for people with mental health conditions."
Image by Reytan