Worried about your mind deteriorating in old age? There's something you can do about it.
A new study has found one way you can keep your mind sharp — and it’s a lot simpler than you think.
Researchers found that people who stayed busy and had packed schedules were more likely to do bettery in tests of memory, reasoning, and information processing, according to a Frontiers statement.
That doesn’t mean being overbooked makes you smarter — it may simply be that sharper people seek out mentally stimulating work, or they may have more resources allowing them to lead active lives. But past research has also indicated that learning new skills helps with your overall mental health.
The study falls in line with other previous research that finds more activity in older adults correlates with better mental function and a lower risk of dementia.
The study followed 330 men and women, rating their level of “busyness” by asking questions about their schedules. The participants were between the ages of 50 and 89.
In addition, volunteers also took tests that gauged their memory, vocabulary, and other mental skills.
The study found that the busier people were, the better they performed on the test, and it didn’t matter what the person’s education level was.
“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,” Sara Festini, a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Vital Longevity of the University of Texas at Dallas and lead author of the study, said in the statement. “We were surprised at how little research there was on busyness, given that being too busy seems to be a fact of modern life for so many.”