People who walk backwards perform better in a memory test than those who stand still or walk forward, a study has found.
Experts from the University of Roehampton discovered a similar effect in five variations of an experiment. They asked 114 volunteers to watch a video in which a woman had her bag stolen and then answer a questionnaire about what they could recall.
After watching the video, participants were split into groups - one was told to walk forwards or backwards 30 feet (10m) while a control group stood in one place.
They were then asked twenty questions about the events in the video and it was found that the backward-walking group got two more answers correct on average than the forward-walkers and the non-walkers.
One of them involved a similar procedure but tested how many words the volunteers could remeber from a list.
In others, participants simply imagined moving forwards or backwards or watched a video filmed on a train, which created the impression of moving forwards or backwards.
In all scenarios, the backwards group or those who imagined walking backwards got the most answers right.
It is still not clear why motion, real or imagined, shouls improve our access to memories but Dr Aksentijevic, a researcher at the University hoped futher research will shed light on as well as how to use it to our advantage.
'I'm sure that some of this work could be useful in helping people remember things, but how is a question for more research,' he said.
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