According to a new study, keeping your mind busy is good for you. It seems that a crowded schedule during the young years helps people stay sharp in their old age. Maybe workaholics, bookaholics, and gamers were onto something long before the researchers started analyzing their behavior.
There’s a Link Between a Busy Mind and A Healthy One
Studies have shown that adults with packed schedules tend to fair better in tests of reasoning, information processing, and memory. However, the researchers involved in the study declared that there is only a link between a busy life and better cognitive function, there is no cause and effect relation between the two factors.
One of the theories that explains the link between improved cognitive abilities and a working bee schedule is the fact that intelligent people have a tendency of searching for more mental stimulation than average individuals.
Moreover, those kinds of people usually have the material resources that allow them to engage in various activities.
Another theory is based on past researches. According to them, people who continually learn new skills can improve their mental acuity in old age.
“We think it is likely that being busy is good for your cognition,” said the lead researcher of the study, Sara Festini.
330 People Participated in the Study
The paper was published in the “Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience” on-line magazine on the 17th of May. Its conclusions are in line with previous studies that showed a direct link between a lower dementia and physical, mental, and social activity.
In order to reach the cited conclusions, Festini and her team analyzed the overall mental and physical health status of 330 individuals. Then they asked the volunteers to asses their level of “busyness” in the sense that they were invited to describe how often they face an overflowing workflow, are forced to multitask, and in general, keep their mind alert for an entire day.
Furthermore, the volunteers were given multiple tests that evaluated their speed of processing information, memory, vocabulary, and reasoning capacities.
A Big Workload May Be Good for the Brain, But Stress Isn’t
As previously mentioned, the researchers found that the people that kept themselves busy for longer periods of time fared better in the tests than those who had a relaxing work schedule.
While keeping your mind busy is good for you, you should also bear in mind that the stress associated with such an overflowing workload is not good for the heart. The key is to balance work activities with leisure ones that keep your brain engaged.
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