Although many of us complain about our busy schedules, keeping our agendas booked up could be offering us many brain health benefits. A study uncovered that older adults with busier schedules perform better on memory tests, information processing, and reasoning.
The researchers did mention that they don’t necessarily believe being busy promotes mental clarity, as those who are busy may just be sharper and seek out greater mental stimulation. On the other hand, previous findings have suggested that seeking out new skills can help improve cognition.
The Alzheimer’s Association recommends that seniors partake in physical, mental, and social activities in order to reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers looked at 330 men and women and had them rate their busyness by asking questions such as “How often do you have too many things to do each day to actually get them all done?”
The participants also underwent tests that assessed their memory, information processing, and reasoning skills.
The study found that those who reported to be busier performed better on all three tests.
Debra Fleischman, a professor of neurological and behavioral sciences at Rush University Medical Center, explained the findings, “Occupation, income, ethnicity, and race are all important factors that can influence accessibility to resources that support an active lifestyle.”
The take-home message is that older adults should keep themselves – and their minds – busy as much as possible, be it through physical, social, or cognitive activities as a means to support healthy brain aging.
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article on 7 tips to sharper memory.