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USC's Arnold School of Public Health recruiting walkers for research study

African American adults 60 years and older are being asked to participate in a walking and cognitive health study.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina is seeking African American walkers over 60 for a research study

This study will take six months, and the goal is to determine how walking can impact the brain health of the study subjects.

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Jong Won Lee is a Ph.D. student at the Arnold School earning his degree in exercise science. As one of the research lab assistants, he says that they want to see if there is any correlation between walking and Alzheimer's or related dementia.  

"One of the high-risk factors of being an older adult is having dementia or Alzheimer's Disease," said Lee. "We want to see if the walking can impact or help to reduce the risk of being Alzheimer's or related dementia." 

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In addition to their walks, participants will also be given surveys and brain games to keep track of their cognitive ability. Marie Brown said that brain games and walks have helped to improve her focus in a short period. 

"I feel like I am being more conscience of how I am doing," said Brown. "Now, I am doing things even at home to remind myself of certain things because I be so busy that I may put my keys somewhere or do something, in the midst of doing something, and then forget it. So, now I am making myself stay aware of somethings because I don't want to be forgetting things." 

Pamela Sulton joined the study in June. She said she believes this study's findings will be a tremendous benefit.

"For African Americans, this is a wonderful way to help people to understand that walking, that exercise, that being able to be physically active at every age, is very important," Sulton said.

To participate in this study, participants must complete 24 walking sessions in downtown Columbia at the State House Walking Trails, meet with research staff, and complete surveys and brain games.

People who complete all requirements in this study will receive a monetary compensation of $160 and a summary of daily activity levels. 

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