Study: Riding motorcycles can help you stay young

Want to improve your mental health? Then start riding a motorbike to work, says expert

This bloke's still got the mind of a 20-year-old, probably

RIDING MOTORCYCLES can help you stay young - that's the claim being made the scientists behind a new study.

According to Japanese scientist Ryuta Kawashima, the rider's brain gets activated to increased levels over a car driver because it requires heightened alertness:

"In a convenient and easy environment, the human mind and body get used to setting the hurdle low. Our final conclusion is that riding motorcycles can lead to smart ageing."

Kawashima, a confirmed motorcycle enthusiast, is the man behind the "Brain Training" software used in many handheld game consoles. His research team worked in conjunction with Yamaha Motor Company in a string of experiments involving middle-aged men, at Tohoku University, Japan.

Some of the tests involved as many as 22 middle-aged men, who held motorcycle licences but had not been actively riding for the last ten years.

After splitting them into two groups -- one was asked to resume riding motorcycles for two months, and another to keep using bicycles or cars.

"The group that rode motorbikes posted higher marks in cognitive function tests," Kawashima said.

"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."