Multi-tasking may actually improve performance

New York, June 3 (IANS) Those who say you cannot do two things at once and do them both well may actually be wrong, says a new study that recorded benefits of multi-tasking on exercise.

In the study of older adults, who completed cognitive tasks while cycling on a stationary bike, the researchers found that participants’ cycling speed improved while multi-tasking with no cost to their cognitive performance.

The surprising discovery challenges the prevalent notion that multi-tasking causes one or both activities to suffer.

“Every dual-task study that, I’m aware of shows when people are doing two things at once they get worse,” said Lori Altmann, associate professor of speech, language and hearing sciences at University of Florida in the US.

“Everybody has experienced walking somewhere in a hurry when the person in front of them pulls out a phone and that person just slows to a crawl. Frankly, that is what we were expecting,” Altmann said.

During the study, 28 participants with Parkinson’s disease and 20 healthy older adults completed 12 cognitive tasks while sitting in a quiet room and again while cycling.

Tasks ranged in difficulty from saying the word ‘go’ when a blue star was shown on a projection screen to repeating increasingly long lists of numbers in reverse order of presentation.

Participants’ cycling speed was about 25 percent faster while doing the easiest cognitive tasks but became slower as the cognitive tasks became more difficult.

Yet, the hardest tasks only brought participants back to the speeds at which they were cycling before beginning the cognitive tasks.

The findings suggest that combining the easier cognitive tasks with physical activity may be a way to get people to exercise more vigorously.

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of or any employee thereof. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here