Brain Fitness Joins Physical Fitness As Part Of A Workout Strategy

I had an interesting discussion today with a new company called Cogniciti that is developing a platform for helping adults “extend their memory and cognitive abilities longer in the lifespan.” Based on research from Baycrest, a health services center focusing on aging and affiliated with the University of Toronto, the company’s work is grounded in solid research.

I think extending one’s memory to stay as sharp as possible in both professional and personal life is a hot topic that is growing fast as an essential component of general fitness. We spend hours at the gym maintaining our physical fitness. But in order to enjoy our healthy bodies, we also need to be mentally fit.  In the last few months, I’ve seen a lot of emphasis on informing people about what they can do to maintain their memory. PBS had a special over the Holidays and a brain fitness package was one of the “thank you” gifts for pledging money to the TV station. I picked up an AARP magazine in a doctor’s office last week and the lead article was on exercising the brain through challenging games. I felt quite satisfied when I completed the puzzles effortlessly (whew!)

I’m convinced we will see brain fitness as a soft skill for employees in the corporate world. Everyone can use memory strategies to improve their work performance. I like the blend of research and technology. Using self-paced online information and exercises that use simulations and other multimedia production techniques combined with self-study and online discussions give employees a complete brain enhancing program. Employees can also access brain games and exercises from their mobile device and get some brain stimulation on the way to work in the morning!

Brain fitness is not just for the Baby Boomer generation that is remaining longer in the workforce and may already notice some memory loss as they age. It’s also for those in Gen X and Millennial age groups who must retain an incredible amount of information and be able to call it up instantly. Watch for these programs to take off and make sure you include them in your soft skill training for employees to access on their own or as part of a larger brain fitness corporate program.

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Brain Fitness Industry Growth

There is a growing set of companies helping people stay mentally sharp as they age with brain training being a key part of improving your overall health. The PBS pledge drive offer you heard – The Brain Fitness Program – is offered by Posit Science, the company where I am CEO.

Posit Science makes scientifically-validated and engaging brain fitness software that helps people think faster, focus better and remember more. The IMPACT study (http://www.scribd.com/doc/17888028/Smith-2009-IMPACT-Study) was published in 2009 and is an example of the type of research that has been done on our technology showing 10 years improvement in standardized measures of memory. We now have over 60 published studies from institutions like the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins that show improvements in a range of real-world situations like driving safety and health related quality of life. We work with trusted partners (AAA and PBS), insurance carriers (Allstate, Capital Health, State Farm, and UPMC Health Plan), as well as directly with consumers. Employers are another group that could benefit from improving the brain's speed and accuracy.

To learn more, please visit www.positscience.com or send me an email at steven@positscience.com

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