The Effects of Daily Aerobic Exercises on Seniors' Cognitive Abilities
Caitlin Syho
Killarney Secondary
Floor Location : M 068 H

As more older adults in our society are aging, along with time comes the inevitable decline of their cognitive abilities in certain areas. For my experiment, I gathered 6 senior participants between the ages of 60 and 90, each with a minimum score of 25 on the Mini Mental Health Examination to ensure they did not have existing cognitive impairments, as well as not taking part in an existing exercise program. I tested the cognitive abilities of seniors in three specific categories: processing speed, executive function and spatial reasoning. Each one is greatly impacted by age and gradually yet noticeably deteriorates throughout an adult's lifespan. I developed 5 tests: two processing speed tests by identifying coloured shapes and through multiplication worksheets. Two executive function tests by repeating number sequences backwards and multitasking ability through memorizing symbols and completing online exercises (speed and memory). Finally the fifth test was a spatial reasoning test where I used 4 solid objects of similar difficulty for before and after the experiment where the participants has to draw nets of the objects. Through five tests I developed, I tested the participants within one week before and after four weeks of facilitated 15 minute daily aerobic exercises. These were simple low impact movements that were guided through online resources and with assistance from myself. There was an overall improvement of 17% through all five tests after the four weeks. This conclusion supports further implementation of long term exercise programs targeted for maintaining seniors’ cognitive abilities.