Work is the best medicine for great mental health: Study
Keep working and stay fit -- that seems to be the mantra for good mental health in old age, a new study has shown.health and fitness Updated: May 18, 2016 14:24 IST
Are you well above 50 but maintain a tough work schedule? And does that worry you sometimes. Well, fret not for there is a good side to it. A new study says older adults with a busy daily lifestyle tend to have better mental functioning than their less busy peers. The findings showed that at any age, and regardless of education, a busier lifestyle can lead to superior processing speed of the brain, working memory, reasoning and vocabulary.
“We show that people who report greater levels of daily ‘busyness’ tend to have better cognition, especially with regard to memory for recently learned information,” said lead author Sara Festini, postdoctoral researcher at University of Texas in the US.
Also, the busiest an individual is, the better can be his/her episodic memory -- the ability to remember specific events in the past.
Busy people are likely to have more opportunities to learn as they are exposed to more information and encounter a wider range of situations in daily life.
However, it is also possible that people with better mental functioning seek out a busier lifestyle, or that busyness and cognition reinforce each other, resulting in reciprocal strengthening, the researchers said.
For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, the team surveyed 330 healthy women and men between 50 and 89.
The participants took part in a long series of neuropsychological tests to measure their cognitive performance.
“Living a busy lifestyle appears beneficial for mental function, although additional experimental work is needed to determine if manipulations of busyness have the same effect,” Festini noted.