This is the first in our new series on scientific concepts that explain why standing and moving leads to greater health and mental focus, in the classroom and the workplace.
The part of the brain that processes movement is the same part of the brain that processes learning. Peter Strick and his staff at the Veterans Affairs in Syracuse, NY have traced a pathway from the cerebellum back to parts of the brain involved in memory, attention, and spatial perception. Our brain predicts – or thinks about – our movements before we execute them so that we control them better. Motor activity is preceded by a quick thought process that sets goals, analyzes variables, predicts outcomes and executes movements. This requires widespread connections to all sensory areas of the brain.
Ordinary, non-disruptive activity – such as standing and shifting weight slightly – plays a major role in maintaining body weight, caloric intake, overall health. In addition, low-level movement also ensures better brain function.
For more information about movement and thinking, check out research on the science of sitting and standing.