Retired? Be Sure to Keep Your Mind Busy
What: Researchers examined the impact of retirement on everyday intellectual performance, including attention, thinking speed and memory. Using a sample of over 2,800 subjects from the Health and Retirement Study data, they looked at reported work status, cognitive performance and engagement in leisure activities. Results suggest that those who retired experienced a significant drop in cognitive performance compared to those who reported that they were still working. However, engaging in leisure activities lessened the impact of retirement on cognitive performance.
Why This Matters: Numerous studies suggest that retirement shouldn’t be about lazing away our days – we need to really plan what we do once we are no longer working or running a household. This robust and well-designed study underscores the importance of continuing to exercise, pursue intellectual and creative activities, and staying socially connected to reducing cognitive decline when we are no longer working.
The Takeaway: Clearly even in retirement we need to stay engaged to stay sharp and to stay well.
Lee Y, Chi I, Palinkas LA. Retirement, Leisure Activity Engagement, and Cognition Among Older Adults in the United States. J Aging Health. 2018 Apr 1:898264318767030. doi: 10.1177/0898264318767030. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29683019
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