AARP Survey Suggests Level of Cognitive Engagement Influences How We Feel about our Brain Health
What: A recent survey by AARP Research found that adults over 40 who regularly take part in cognitively stimulating activities (CSAs) rate their brain health as significantly better than those who do not engage in such activities on a regular basis. The survey, released this past summer, further determined that 1 in 8 adults are willing to participate in cognitive training, with 3/4s of those willing to spend at least 15 minutes a day doing so. For those reporting low levels of CSAs, the most common barriers to participation reported was that they are unsure what activities provide benefit (35%) or don’t know anyone who is doing such activities (26%).
Why This Matters: This survey confirms that those who engage in cognitively challenging activities have a more positive sense of their cognitive status, making it more likely they are confident in their abilities and empowered to seek out cognitive training and new challenges. In addition, the survey points to the barriers that exist for those with low levels of participation in CSAs, demonstrating the opportunities that exist “to provide education and outreach on the benefits of such activities, regardless of perceived ability” (AARP Cognitive Activity and Brain Health Survey, 2017).
The Takeaway: As the evidence builds for the benefit of engaging in brain healthy activity to promote sharp thinking and reduce dementia risk, we have a growing responsibility to empower adults of all ages with the knowledge and opportunity to keep their brains healthy. This survey, along with the accompanying report from the Global Council on Brain Health, provide additional compelling evidence to offer meaningful and engaging brain health training to those we serve.
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