The results showed that of the studies 1238 participants:
- 43% reported doing no regular exercise.
- 36% reported engaging in regular exercise: for example playing golf, walking, bowling, dancing.
- 21% reported doing moderate to intense exercise on a regular basis, including hiking, tennis, biking, jogging, swimming and racquetball.
- MRI scans showed that 16% (197 participants) had small brain lesions or "silent stroke" infarcts.
- The participants who reported regularly doing moderate to intense exercise were 40% less likely to be among those whose MRI showed signs of these brain lesions than participants who reported having no regular exercise.
Researchers concluded that while the results should not dissuade people from doing light exercise there appeared to be greater 'protective' benefit to exercising at higher intensities.