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Dynamic office environments improve brain activity and attention

Current research demonstrates beneficial effects of physical activity on brain functions and cognitive performance.

To date, less is known on the effects of movements that do not fall into the category of sports related aerobic or anaerobic exercise but involve gross motor movements.

Beneficial effects of dynamic working environments were founded previously. Environments that allow movements during cognitive task performance, improve cognitive performance and the corresponding brain activity.

The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of a dynamic and a static office environment on attentional and vigilance performance. In a two-week intervention, participants worked either in a dynamic or a static office. In each intervention group, subjects performed attentional and vigilance tasks.

Increases in EEG activity in the attention and vigilance test were shown in the dynamic compared to the static office. After two weeks, the effects on brain activity increased for the attentional and the vigilance task in the dynamic office.

EEG oscillatory patterns indicate beneficial effects of dynamic office environments on attentional and vigilance performance that are mediated by increased motor activity i.e. movement. 

Front. Hum. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00121 
Authors: Diana Henz and Wolfgang I. Schollhorn

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