In a new study, researchers from McMaster University found that skills used during the sport called orienteering may help prevent or act as intervention therapy for dementia.
For their study, the research team surveyed 158 healthy adults ages 18 to 87 who had diverse orienteering experience, ranging from none to advanced. The analysis of the collected data showed that people who participated in orienteering had better spatial navigation and memory, and this fact can be used as proof that the skills of orienteering could be beneficial throughout a person’s life.
Lead author of the study, Emma Waddington, a grad student in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University, says: “Our prior research shows that physical inactivity can contribute to dementia risk as much as genetics. You can’t change your genes, but you can change your lifestyle. People can add elements of orienteering into their regular walk, run, or bike ride by turning off their GPS and taking a new route.”