Is your job keeping you sharp for old age?

Is your job keeping you sharp for old age?

Taking that new promotion could be daunting. The demands of the position can be intimidating and taxing on the brain.   But new research says that’s good for your brain.

The study, done at Colorado State University and lead by Gwen Fisher, found that challenging job positions promote cognitive ability in retirement. People who have jobs requiring data analysis and strategic planning have been proven to retain a clearer memory than those in repetitive jobs involving assembly line work or repeating tasks.

“People who were engaged in work characterized as mentally challenging scored better on a measure of cognitive [thinking] ability, both before and after retirement,” Fisher said in a statement.

Though a certain degree of memory decline is sometimes inevitable, those who had been in these engaging job positions had a much slower rate of decline.

But what about people whose jobs require fewer problem solving skills? Fisher said there are many other ways to train your brain. Reading, socializing with friends, playing board games, or volunteering are all brain training activities. These things will keep your brain in tip-top shape for years to come, experts say.

Pat Stacy Cohen, director of the Alzheimer’s Support Center for Advocate Health Care, says that conventional wisdom suggests that we should exercise our brain by engaging in activities that are novel and complex. She says the Internet has plenty of resources to keep our minds active.

“Some websites I recommend to keep the brain active regardless of our age include: Fitbrains.com, Lumosity.com and SharpBrains.com,” she says.

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One Comment

  1. cordelia_79720 May 16, 2014 at 1:15 am · Reply

    Yes, my grandmother did the accounting in the family business until 92 yrs when she was retired by her son/my father …against her will … she was stubborn and so was he…and the two of them were always engaging in conflicting argument over nonsense …it didn’t help that my father was blown up in a building explosion when fighting nazis WWII/abroad since he had had head trauma and it made him irritable and my grandmother being a manipulator was always irritating anyway …

    Aside from old age, …after brain injury, it was working on my computer that kept me sane when having aphasia, I couldn’t communicate at all for a month, a word ortwo for three months, and about 1-1/2 yrs before I was back to my usual speaking in paragraphs, the computer-brain interaction of trying to do my strategic planning and strategic marketing job seemed to help re-order all the ‘stuff’ in my head…it was as though someone had shaken everything up and it was all in bits and pieces in my mind …that in itslef drove me bonkers, trying to live with the mess of it in my mind,… but …the activities have to be challenging or my brain ‘tunes out’ …drifts away …so it must be engaging ..

    There is a number of computer exercises specifically designed for head injury also good for dementia so they advertise…one of first quite good is Parrot software system… think it was designed/written U. Colorado/Denver/ ?

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.