It’s widely known that exercise is good for your mental wellbeing. However, it might surprise you just how incredibly effective exercise, particularly running, is for improving your mood as well as brain function. Together with Brendon Stubbs from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, sports brand, Asics has been researching the effects of sport on the mind to see just how beneficial exercise can be for mental health. Now, after months of studying the topic, Asics is helping fitness fans track the impact of sport on their mental wellbeing using a unique tool.
Asics’s new Mind Uplifter tool uses a mix of facial scanning technology and self-reported data to measure the effect of a 20-minute run on 10 emotional and cognitive metrics such as positivity, calmness and confidence. With this new tool, Asics aims to uplift a million minds around the world.
The Mind Uplifter Tool
Asics is enabling everyday athletes all over the world to see, for the first time, the impact of movement on their own mind. Using a combination of facial scanning technology and self-report data collection, people will be able to capture the impact of sport across 10 emotional and cognitive metrics – including confidence, positivity, calm and focus – to see how different sports impact how they think and feel.
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Uplifting Minds Research
This data will feed into a live global study, capturing individual Mind Uplifts from around the world and visually transforming them into a dynamic and interactive World Uplift Map. The map will quantify the positive impact that sport is having on the collective mood of cities, nations and the world as a whole. Through the live study, Asics will deepen its understanding of the relationship between movement and the mind on a global scale, underpinning its belief that sport has the power to uplift minds all over the world.
Yasuhito Hirota, the President & COO of ASICS, said “As we all come to terms with a much-changed world in the wake of the pandemic, the uplifting power of sport is a constant that endures. That’s why our sole ambition is to empower as many people as possible to experience the physical and mental benefits of movement. By taking part in any number of our different events and activities running across the year, you’ll contribute to vital research to help us further understand the uplifting effect of sport on the mind. That way we can continue finding new ways to highlight and unlock the benefits for everyone in 2022 and beyond.”
Underpinned by Science
Over the past six months, Asics has conducted scientific research alongside world-leading experts to explore the impact of sport on the mind among a select group of athletes ahead of the live study’s wider rollout.
The preliminary study was developed by EMOTIV, a market-leading bioinformatics company headquartered in San Francisco, with the support of Dr. Brendon Stubbs, a leading exercise and mental health researcher based at King’s College London. The study used a combination of EEG and self-report data collection to prove the positive impact of running on the mind across a number of core cognitive and emotional metrics – including contentment (14.4% average increase immediately after exercise), energy (9.7%) and relaxation (13.3%) * – among a sample of 42 elite and everyday athletes.
Now, Asics is robustly applying the findings in a way that will enable the rollout of the study on a global scale, enabling athletes everywhere to see and experience the impact of movement on the mind first-hand for any one of 25 different sports of their choosing.
Dr. Stubbs commented: “Our preliminary research findings outline the profound impact that something as simple as a 20-minute run can have on our minds. With exercise playing such a valuable role in maintaining our mental health and wellbeing, it is more important than ever that people can see and understand the positive link between the two. The unique way in which we are applying our initial findings using robust EEG measures, validating the Mind Uplifter, will enable the translation of this research for people everywhere to experience and reliably measure the uplifting power of sport like never before. Our ambition is to inspire as many people as possible to move their mind and reap those all-important cognitive and emotional benefits for themselves.”
Uplifting a Million Minds
ASICS is inviting people all over the world to experience the uplifting power of sport and become one of the million minds moved. The project kicked off on Global Running Day 2021, with Asics challenging runners everywhere to use the Mind Uplifter tool to capture their pre and post-run mental wellbeing before sharing their results on social media using #UpliftingMinds.
Every Mind Uplift shared with #UpliftingMinds will raise funds for mental health charity Mind to help provide services for people experiencing mental health problems.
Join the Movement
To get involved, and join the world’s first live study into the impact of movement on the mind:
1. GO to http://minduplifter.asics.com to capture your Mind Uplift.
2. SCAN your face to read your emotional state.
3. ANSWER scientifically-developed questions to gauge your brain function.
4. COMPLETE at least 20 minutes of exercise to uplift your mind.
5. REPEAT steps two and three.
6. GET your Mind Uplift results and SHARE them on social channels. with #UpliftingMinds
7. SEE how your results contribute to the World Uplift Map (from July 1).
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