This site uses cookies to measure how you use the website so it can be updated and improved based on your needs and also uses cookies to help remember the notifications you’ve seen, like this one, so that we don’t show them to you again. If you could also tell us a little bit about yourself, this information will help us understand how we can support you better and make this site even easier for you to use and navigate.

Walking the line: a randomised trial on the effects of a short term walking programme on cognition in dementia


Eggermont, L H P, Swaab, D F, Hol, E M, Scherder, E J A


Journal Of Neurology, Neurosurgery, And Psychiatry, Volume: 80, No.: 7, Pages.: 802-804

Year of Publication



Background: Walking has proven to be beneficial for cognition in healthy sedentary older people. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a walking intervention on cognition in older people with dementia.; Methods: 97 older nursing home residents with moderate dementia (mean age 85.4 years; 79 female participants; mean Mini-Mental State Examination 17.7) were randomly allocated to the experimental or control condition. Participants assigned to the experimental condition walked for 30 min, 5 days a week, for 6 weeks. To control for personal communication, another group received social visits in the same frequency. Neuropsychological tests were assessed at baseline, directly after the 6 week intervention and again 6 weeks later. Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype was determined.; Results: Differences in cognition between both groups at the three assessments were calculated using a linear mixed model. Outcome measures included performance on tests that formed three domains: a memory domain, an executive function domain and a total cognition domain. Results indicate that there were no significant time x group interaction effects or any time x group x ApoE4 interaction effects.; Conclusion: Possible explanations for the lack of a beneficial effect of the walking programme on cognition could be the level of physical activation of the intervention or the high frequency of comorbid cardiovascular disease in the present population of older people with dementia.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Eggermont_2009, doi = {10.1136/jnnp.2008.158444}, url = {}, year = 2009, month = {jun}, publisher = {{BMJ}}, volume = {80}, number = {7}, pages = {802--804}, author = {L H P Eggermont and D F Swaab and E M Hol and E J A Scherder}, title = {Walking the line: a randomised trial on the effects of a short term walking programme on cognition in dementia}, journal = {Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery {&} Psychiatry} }


aged, aged, 80 and over, apolipoproteins e, cognition, dementia, diagnosis, female, genetics, humans, linear models, male, memory, neuropsychological tests, psychology, psychomotor performance, therapy, treatment failure, walking

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes



Nursing Homes

Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Exercise (inc. dancing)