Keep busy to boost your mental health!

The study found that older adults who are packed with schedules fare better in brain health, specifically cognitive function, than their less busy peers.

Zee Media Bureau

New York: Do you keep yourself occupied most of the time by either doing or thinking about the things on our to-do list. If yes, then take heart, for a new study suggests that a busy daily lifestyle can boost mental functioning in adults.

The study found that older adults who are packed with schedules fare better in brain health, specifically cognitive function, than their less busy peers.

The findings showed that at any age, and regardless of education, a busier lifestyle can lead to superior processing speed of the brain, working memory, reasoning, and vocabulary.

"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," said lead author Sara Festini, postdoctoral researcher at University of Texas in the US.

Also, the busiest an individual is, the better can be his/her episodic memory -- the ability to remember specific events in the past.

Busy people are likely to have more opportunities to learn as they are exposed to more information and encounter a wider range of situations in daily life.

However, it is also possible that people with better mental functioning seek out a busier lifestyle, or that busyness and cognition reinforce each other, resulting in reciprocal strengthening, the researchers said.

For the study, the team surveyed 330 healthy women and men aged between 50 and 89.

The participants took part in a long series of neuropsychological tests to measure their cognitive performance.

"Living a busy lifestyle appears beneficial for mental function, although additional experimental work is needed to determine if manipulations of busyness have the same effect," Festini noted.

The findings have been published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

(With IANS inputs)

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