The Busier the Better - Busyness Means Better Cognition

Ever wonder if there is any truth to the myth about the fountain of youth? There has to be some truth to the story, right? Why else would there be so many references to it across history? Others have taken a lot of time and effort in trying to find it with no avail. I don’t know about you but who has time to try to find it nowadays? We are all so busy! But we are in luck, a recent study at the Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas in Dallas showed that people who report greater levels of daily busyness tend to have better cognition, especially with regard to memory for recently learned information.
Modern life has pushed us to take on more work, more chores, and have a social life – all while being sure to “keep up with the Jones”. Being busy is the new norm, it’s a fact of life now. Given that busyness is not necessarily a new way of life, researchers were surprised by how little data was present for them to work with or analyze against. The researchers for this study surveyed over 300 healthy people for their “brain study”. They recorded the participants’ responses about their daily schedule and conducted a series of neuropsychological tests to measure their cognitive performance.
The results show that at any age, and regardless of education, a busier lifestyle is associated with superior processing speed of the brain, working memory, reasoning and vocabulary. The brain is strong in association between busyness and recalling memories of specific events in the past. However, the results do not indicate that we should all run out and seek an even busier lifestyle in the hopes that it will restore all of our youthful cognitive functionality.
Nevertheless, it can be assumed that living a busy lifestyle may help mental function. Therefore what can we do as we age to help ward off memory loss, dementia and other aging brain ailments? Stay active, stay busy. If you are over 50 and busier then your peers then you’re a step ahead of the game! You are making your brain work and process a lot of information quickly. However, busy doesn’t need to equal work burnout. Busyness can be associated with a frequent social life, attending family activities, enjoying time outdoors and finding an active hobby. Just remember to enjoy life!
At Elder Law of Omaha, we specialize in the legal needs of those aged 50 and over. We handle everything from estate planning to trusts to long-term care Medicaid planning. Call us today for a FREE consultation regarding your future at 402.614.6400. We hope to visit with you soon.

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