Want to train your brain? Work as a physician, air traffic controller, financial analyst (or similar)

Brain Firing NeuronsMen­tal­ly stim­u­lat­ing jobs keep your mind sharp post-retire­ment (Tech Times):

If you want to stay sharp in your gold­en years, it’s best to get the hard yards in ear­ly — a new study has found that peo­ple with men­tal­ly demand­ing jobs fare bet­ter in the years after retirement.…Mental acu­ity and mem­o­ry reten­tion was found to be high­er in retirees who had spent their careers in men­tal­ly stim­u­lat­ing roles, such as for­mer physi­cians, air traf­fic con­trollers, and finan­cial ana­lysts. “Work­ing in a job that involves a lot of think­ing, ana­lyz­ing, prob­lem solv­ing, cre­ativ­i­ty, and oth­er com­plex men­tal pro­cess­ing is relat­ed to high­er lev­els of cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing not only before retire­ment (while we are still work­ing) but after retire­ment as well,” said lead author Gwenith G. Fish­er in an email to Reuters Health.”

Study: Men­tal Work Demands, Retire­ment, and Lon­gi­tu­di­nal Tra­jec­to­ries of Cog­ni­tive Func­tion­ing. (Jour­nal of Occu­pa­tion­al Health Psychology)

  • Abstract: Age-relat­ed changes in cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties are well-doc­u­ment­ed, and a very impor­tant indi­ca­tor of health, func­tion­ing, and decline in lat­er life. How­ev­er, less is known about the course of cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing before and after retire­ment and specif­i­cal­ly whether job char­ac­ter­is­tics dur­ing one’s time of employ­ment (i.e., high­er vs. low­er lev­els of men­tal work demands) mod­er­ate how cog­ni­tion changes both before and after the tran­si­tion to retire­ment. We used data from n = 4,182 (50% women) indi­vid­u­als in the Health and Retire­ment Study, a nation­al­ly rep­re­sen­ta­tive pan­el study in the Unit­ed States, across an 18 year time span (1992–2010). Data were linked to the O*NET occu­pa­tion codes to gath­er infor­ma­tion about men­tal job demands to exam­ine whether job char­ac­ter­is­tics dur­ing one’s time of employ­ment mod­er­ates lev­el and rate of change in cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing (episod­ic mem­o­ry and men­tal sta­tus) both before and after retire­ment. Results indi­cat­ed that work­ing in an occu­pa­tion char­ac­ter­ized by high­er lev­els of men­tal demands was asso­ci­at­ed with high­er lev­els of cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing before retire­ment, and a slow­er rate of cog­ni­tive decline after retire­ment. We con­trolled for a num­ber of impor­tant covari­ates, includ­ing socioe­co­nom­ic (edu­ca­tion and income), demo­graph­ic, and health variables.

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SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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