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Apr 20, 22

Solarflare Studio plays key role in ASICS study showing negative impact of inactivity on the mind

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Solarflare, a leading creative tech studio, has played a key role in a ground-breaking data visualisation study for ASICS, showing the negative impact the lack of movement can have on our mental health.

The study was the latest in the ASICS Mind Uplifter programme that has been running since 2021.

Collaboratively produced between client ASICS and agencies Golin, Solarflare Studio, and Unit 9, the new research project was put together with Professor Brendon Stubbs, a leading expert on movement and mental health, and involved more than 50 participants from 21 countries. With the volunteers monitored to capture what happened to the minds of regular exercisers when they paused their activities for just one week, the study was brought to life by filming seven of the participants’ results and reactions.

The study revealed that participants’ State of Mind scores were lowered by an average of 18 per cent through not exercising, with confidence, positivity, and the inability to cope with stress also reduced. The results also pinpointed that 15 minutes and nine seconds is all the exercise it takes to return to a positive mental state.

A new ‘Mind Race’ PR Film was produced in conjunction with agency Golin and ASICS, in which tech partners Solarflare Studio helped to bring the concept to life visually, which can be viewed here: VIDEO

THE TECH BEHIND THE STUDY

Using ASICS ‘Mind Uplifter’ technology, which combines AI facial scanning data with a series of scientifically designed questions and answers, a Mind Uplift score illustrates to the user how different sports can alter their mental state across 10 cognitive and emotional metrics. Now capturing real-time feedback on general brain activity, heart rate, breathing, and body movement with the use of Muse 2 headsets at different stages of the experiment; Mind Race captured each participant’s EEG data with their Mind Uplifter scores to track the negative effect that a week without exercise would have on the individual.

Working with real time visual artist Ben Heim, Solarflare translated the participants’ state of mind recordings before, during, and after the experiment, into an atmospheric data visualisation, which was exclusively revealed in the film, and which included the participants’ reactions to the results.
The Mind Uplifter is a development and creation of Solarflare’s long-term partnership with ASICS. Released across desktop and mobile, it allows people to measure the impact of movement on their minds through a data visualisation and has been globally incorporated into ASICS’ brand identity.

John Martinelli, head of production, Solarflare Studio said: “We were beyond thrilled to continue our collaboration with ASICS on the Mind Uplifter campaign. It’s hugely important to be able to show the link between exercise and better mental health, through a visualisation that everyone can benefit from.
“By capturing multiple data sets, we were able to generate an atmospheric data visualisation that integrated both EEG readings with emotional and cognitive behaviour recordings from the Mind Uplifter Tool.

“These real-time particle and cloud simulations created such a striking data output, with the visuals and participants’ reactions really speaking for themselves, showing us the significant impact inactivity has.”

Commenting on the dramatic visualisation of the negative effect of inactivity on his mind, British sprinter Iwan Thomas, MBE, said: “I knew it’d have an effect, but I didn’t think it’d be quite that bad.”

Al Wood, executive creative director, Golin, said: “Sports brands are masters of tracking time and distance – but, despite its importance, the mental impact of not exercising has always remained intangible. In pursuit of work that matters, we and ASICS wanted to change the movement conversation, using craft and cutting-edge technology to show - rather than tell - how movement affects our minds. The results are beautiful but carry a sobering message.”

To find out more visit the ASICS site.

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