HealthDay (5/17, Norton) reports on new research from the Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas at Dallas that shows that “busyness” among older adults may improve memory, information processing and reasoning. A study of 330 men and women between the ages of 50 and 89 showed that the people who were “busier” – those who stated that they often had too many things to do each day to complete – tested better in memory, information processing speed, reasoning, and vocabulary.
Medical Daily (5/17, Borreli) also reports on the study, which evaluates the benefits of a “healthy” busy schedule on mental health. The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, required participants to rank their “busyness” according to standards from the Martin and Park Environmental Demands Questionnaire (MPED). However, lead author Sara Festini said that although the study showed better cognitive performance associated with busier schedules, findings “do not mean being busy directly improves cognition” and that “it’s possible people with better cognitive function seek out a busier lifestyle, or that busyness and cognition reinforce and strengthen each other.”
— “Keep Busy! Stay Sharp!,” Amy Norton, HealthDay, May 17, 2016.