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Mind Games for Mental Performance

Program boosts inactive gamers’ performance.

Gamer playing mind games

An ASICS study demonstrated that a structured exercise program can significantly improve cognitive function and mental performance among competitive gamers. ASICS invited 77 inactive gamers from 20 countries to participate in a 4-month progressive training program of cardio and strength training exercises. Participants exercised for 150 minutes per week, and investigators collected data on cognitive tests, well-being questionnaires and each individual competitor’s mind games performance.

After 4 months of training, gamers’ cognitive function improved by 10%, problem-
solving improved by 9%, short-term memory increased by 12%, and processing speed and alertness improved by 10%. For well-being, gamers improved a significant 31% and had a 43% reduction in anxiety levels.

The acronym for ASICS stems from the company’s founding philosophy—“anima sana in corpore sano”—a sound mind in a sound body. This experiment was the company’s first formal exploration of exercise and mental improvement. To learn more about the experiment or to watch the documentary Mind Games: The Experiment, go to asics.com/gb/en-gb/mk/sound-mind-sound-body-

See also: Could Gaming Help People Eat Better?

Shirley Eichenberger-Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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