Is passive exercise as good as active exercise when it comes to cognitive benefits?

Dr Frank Lipman
Dec 17, 2022

We all know that exercise supports brain health - but how does passive exercise fair incomparison to active exercise when it comes to the benefits? New research sheds light on the answer.

Study Summary

The study, which included 28 participants, concluded that:

  • Both passive and active exercise increase cerebral blood flow and enhance executive function.
  • Passive exercise increases cerebral blood flow to a lesser extent when compared to active exercise, although both improve executive function similarly.

If you’re wondering what passive exercise is, it is when a participant’s body is forced into movement without physical effort from the participant. Whereas active exercise is when the participant uses physical effort to move.

The Hearty Take

At Hearty, we recommend that you actively participate in daily movement. It is crucial for not only brain health, but for muscle, heart and whole body function. The good news is - for those who are limited in mobility, passive exercise may provide a way to reap some of the brain benefits of exercise.

Must Read


Hearty's Experts share their experience and knowledge with you.
Gwyneth Paltrow
GOOP Founder/CEO
Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown Founder
Rosario Dawson
Téa Leoni
Actress and Philanthropist
Neil Parikh
Casper Co-founder
Harpreet Rai
Oura Former CEO
Andrew Orlanow
Founder of Sollis Health