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Brain health research study by AARP: Consumers pursue brain training to support a more enjoyable, self-managed life


AARP just released a very inter­est­ing brain health research study based on 1,200 online inter­views con­duct­ed in August 2014. Key find­ings include:

  • Main­tain­ing a healthy lifestyle is impor­tant to all con­sumers (99% find it at least some­what impor­tant). Brain health is the sec­ond most impor­tant com­po­nent in main­tain­ing a healthy lifestyle, after heart health (37% find brain health most impor­tant while 51% find heart health most impor­tant). Younger con­sumers are more inclined to feel brain health is the most impor­tant com­po­nent to over­all health, but they are also more like­ly to believe that brain dete­ri­o­ra­tion can­not be reversed.
  • While ade­quate rest (86%), reduced stress (86%), prop­er nutri­tion (84%), and phys­i­cal exer­cise (75%) are seen as the most impor­tant com­po­nents to healthy liv­ing, con­sumers also engage in puz­zles and games online (48%) and in news­pa­pers, books, and mag­a­zines (37%). To bet­ter main­tain a healthy lifestyle, con­sumers are will­ing to spend mon­ey on tools or resources to main­tain or improve brain health (50% are very or extreme­ly will­ing).
  • Brain train­ing is a rel­a­tive­ly well-known con­cept among con­sumers (52% are aware of brain train­ing). Work­ing on puz­zles (70%), solv­ing word prob­lems (67%), math prob­lems (59%), and play­ing mem­o­riza­tion games (55%) are all pop­u­lar cog­ni­tive exer­cis­es con­sumers have engaged to improve or main­tain brain health. There is also inter­est in engag­ing in these activ­i­ties in the future (43%, 44%, 46%, and 52% would con­sid­er these activ­i­ties in the future, respec­tive­ly).
  • Con­sumers are like­ly to engage in brain train­ing to sup­port liv­ing a more enjoy­able, self-man­aged life (91%). Cat­a­stroph­ic events affect­ing the brain, inabil­i­ty to man­age sim­ple tasks, wors­en­ing mem­o­ry, and wit­ness­ing a loved one suf­fer from a decline in brain health are pri­ma­ry moti­va­tors to par­tic­i­pate in activ­i­ties to main­tain or improve brain health (76%, 74%, 74%, and 73%, respec­tive­ly).
  • Across brain train­ing pro­grams, con­sumers are pri­mar­i­ly aware of Lumos­i­ty (51%) and Mind Games (35%). Brain HQ is the least used pro­gram (19% of those aware of the pro­gram), but giv­en the most con­sid­er­a­tion for future usage (72% of those aware of the pro­gram).
  • Con­sumers pri­mar­i­ly look to their doc­tor and friends or fam­i­ly to learn more about brain health (70% and 51%, respec­tive­ly). When research­ing brain health, con­sumers pre­fer sources sup­port­ed by doc­tors (72%) and pro­fes­sion­als (69%) that are cur­rent and up-to-date with sup­port­ing sta­tis­ti­cal data (57%).

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About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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