What do you think is better for brain health — a consistently busy lifestyle or one that is less action packed? While many will think that a relaxed lifestyle will be easier on the brain, studies have shown that those with a busier lifestyle tend to have increased mental function.
Testing the Theory
In a particular study, 330 healthy men and women over the age of 50 with no mental impairments were each surveyed. Their lifestyle was determined to see how busy they were on a given day, then they were each given a series of cognitive tests. Some of the questions asked were to explain how many tasks they usually had to complete in a day, how much time they had to complete them, if they completed them before going to bed, how many hours of sleep they got per night, etc.
What Type of “Busy”
The type of “busy” being tested in this theory is centered around a person’s lifestyle, not their current mental state. There is a difference between having days chock full of tasks and trying to multitask in a given scenario. Attempting to multitask will make you more prone to becoming distracted and therefore less likely to remember things.
Those who had busier lifestyles were found to have brains with faster processing speeds in terms of working memory, episodic memory, vocabulary, and reasoning. There is no hard evidence that proves having a busier life will directly improve brain performance, but those with busier lives tended to perform better on tests of cognitive function. It is suggested that the brain is better stimulated when a person has a lot going on in their daily life.
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t have much going, consider taking a class, exercising more, or spending more time on a hobby. For other useful tips and information, visit our blog! If you’re interested in learning more, or visiting The Arbors Assisted Living community, schedule a tour by contacting one of our five convenient locations: