Friday, March 6, 2009

Motorcycles, Scooters and Smart AGEING!

Motorcycles help keep you young.
Mental condition can be improved by using motorbikes to commute, says software expert.
Thu, Mar 05, 2009AFP

Riding motorcycles helps keep drivers young by invigorating their brains, the scientist behind popular "Brain Training" computer software said Wednesday, citing a new scientific study.
"The driver's brain gets activated by riding motorbikes" in part because it requires heightened alertness, Ryuta Kawashima said after his research team and Yamaha Motor conducted a string of experiments involving middle-aged men.
"In a convenient and easy environment, the human mind and body get used to setting the hurdle low," he warned. "Our final conclusion is that riding motorcycles can lead to smart ageing."
Kawashima is the designer of "Brain Training" software, which incorporates quizzes and other games and is available on the Nintendo DS game console under the name "Brain Age" in North America.
A self-professed motorcycle fan, 49-year-old Kawashima cited a new study conducted jointly by Yamaha and Tohoku University, for which he works.
One experiment involved 22 men, all in their 40s and 50s, who held motorcycle licences but had not taken a ride for at least a decade.
They were randomly split into two groups -- one asked to resume riding motorcycles in everyday life for two months, and another that kept using bicycles or cars.
"The group that rode motorbikes posted higher marks in cognitive function tests," Kawashima said.
In one test, which required the men to remember a set of numbers in reverse order, the riders' scores jumped by more than 50 percent in two months, while the non-riders' marks deteriorated slightly, he said.
The riders also said they made fewer mistakes at work and felt happier.
"Mental care is a very big issue in modern society," said Kawashima. "I think we made an interesting stir here as
data showed you can improve your mental condition simply by using motorbikes to commute
What does unk Dicko think ?
I have been riding motorcycles and scooters since the mid 60's...till even now.
Photo above shows my present bike...a Vespa 150 cc scooter which I enjoy using and nipping
around in very much. Almost all of my good ole friends around my age group who once used to ride have either given up riding or "forced" into giving up by their spouses...donkey years ago.
I am in full agreement with the reasearch findings as articulated.
My mental alertness is as sharp as can be. Mobility and dexterity is still excellent. Vision almost perfect. Never panics under any circumstances ( it is no joke ). And more plusses!
So ...I think the findings confirm what I already knew. Cheers!


PChew said...

agree with the research findings. but riding on Singapore roads for motor bike is very dangerous as statistics have shown. take care Dicko.

unk Dicko said...

Thanks for the warning Phillip.
Much appreciated!
Just for sharing,in more than 4 decades of riding...I have been literally knocked over twice. Both times should have been FATAL to me.
However,in the million of a split second before the car hit me,I was super-acutely aware and jumped off my bike literally! So my bikes received the full brunt of the crushed so badly it was just a heap of metal! Me? I survived both times...with minor scratches. I can only thank GOD for having watched over me...there must be a purpose that I'm still kicking.
Riding, walking, driving, or doing just about anything can be dangerous almost anywhere...if people take things for granted.
I was in Turkey with my wifey some years back. Our tour coach was about the only vehicle in the wide expanse of the countryside road. Then as we came to a road turning, making a right turn,suddenly...CRASH! BOOM! A car had suddenly collided into a matorbike rider head on. I was the 1st to rush down from my bus to see what help I could offer. Before I left our bus, I told the others (some 40 of us) not to come down as I was afraid they will be traumatised by the gory scene.
True enough!
The poor rider's left leg was severed and lying on the road. Blood everywhere. He was still alive but in a great state of severe Shock.
The 2 occupants of the car, a man and lady, also were in shock. With the scarf of the Turkish lady I tied up ( tourniquet )the exposed thigh to stop bleeding. During the whole period, there were no other passing vehicles.
No phones too. I told the them both to rush him to the nearest hospital, with his severed leg.
We loaded him into the car..and that was the last I saw of them.
Moral of this true story:
Accidents can happen anywhere even in desolated areas.
Be careful everyone, as Phillip says.