New research has shown that having a loaded schedule can reduce the risk of dementia. Festini and Park, two scientists from the University of Texas in Dallas, published a new article on the correlation between cognitive impairing and the activity load which shows that keeping busy has substantial benefits.
The study involved self-reports on how busy the schedule of the participants is, and, on the other hand, cognitive tests for the same subjects. As it turns out, the most active persons were also the ones with best cognitive functioning.
Out of the 300 participants, the ones with best cognitive performance in tests were single mothers, professors without tenure, and young reporters. Having constant activity during the day helps the brain to remain active and focused.
This positive correlation between being busy and cognitive performance was determined for a group of people between the ages of 50 and 89. Aging can result in slowing down cognitive functions, and finding methods to resist this is one of the primary interests in neuroscience.
Authors have also acknowledged the fact that another factor involved is stress: “If you’re chronically busy and dumping stress hormones into your body that could be bad for your cognition,” Park says. Many of the respondents have self-assessed themselves as stressed.
Even so, there is another line of research that had shown mild stress can actual be beneficial to motivation and cognitive activity. Therefore, keeping busy may be not only a sign that the cognitive function is active but also that positive attitudes, the ability to set goals are also in good shape.
The reverse is also possible: the more active the cognitive functioning, the more likely a person will be to take up more tasks. The results of the study show that brain training is necessary also for seniors. It’s not just children who need mental exercises to be ready for life. The process never stops.
Studies like this are even more important as the factors that provoke dementia are yet unknown. Therefore, scientists are more and more interested in how to increase life quality in older persons.
Thus, being active is both cognitively and motivational beneficial. Age does not define us, what we do defines us.
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