A Busy Schedule May Be Better for Your Brain

busy3New research has found a strong correlation between busyness and cognitive function. Scientists tested 330 healthy individuals aged 50 to 89 and found that middle-aged and older Americans who keep themselves busy are also enhancing their cognitive functions. The study is part of the Dallas Lifespan Brain study, an ongoing, comprehensive study of age-related changes in brain function.

Study participants who tended to keep themselves busy tested better across a whole range of different cognitive functions—brain processing speeds, reasoning, vocabulary and especially episodic memory, the memory of specific events from the past.

The correlation was consistent across the age sample, and other research has shown similar correlations in all adult’s brains aged 20 up. Also, while we sometimes attribute stress to being too busy, the study did not bear this out. If busier members of the study were indeed more stressed, any negative impacts produced by that stress appear to have been outweighed by the benefits of busyness.

Some questions the study has yet to answer include:

  • Why is there is a connection between staying busy and cognition?
  • Do people with better cognitive functions simply tend to lead busier lives?
  • Does a busier lifestyle boost the brain’s cognitive powers by engaging people more frequently in the kinds of learning experiences that produce cognitive benefits?
  • Is there a mutual feedback loop in which each option reinforces the other?

One intriguing possibility is that new learning improves cognitive abilities, and that the busy among us may have more opportunities to learn new things because we more frequently engage in challenging tasks and situations that appear to help keep the brain sharp.

If you are interested in boosting your cognitive abilities, give us a call at (248) 496-0150. Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping people of all ages improve cognitive skills. Our customized brain fitness programs take brain performance, including critical thinking skills, to new levels by strengthening nerve cells and improving cognitive power and concentration. Learn more about us by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.


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