To maintain lifelong mental acuity, avoid early retirement and repetitive jobs

retirement_roadThis is your brain on retire­ment — not near­ly as sharp, stud­ies are find­ing (The Wash­ing­ton Post):

Retir­ing at 55 and spend­ing the rest of your life relax­ing on the front porch may sound appeal­ing, but if you want your brain to keep work­ing, it’s prob­a­bly not a good idea. Mount­ing evi­dence shows that stay­ing in the work­force into old age is good not only for our bank accounts, but also for our health and men­tal acu­ity

Research on the top­ic is bur­geon­ing. Though not all of it is in agree­ment, sev­er­al stud­ies com­par­ing peo­ple across indus­tri­al­ized nations have shown a strong cor­re­la­tion between ear­ly retire­ment age and dimin­ished cog­ni­tive function…

The fact that a per­son is work­ing may not in itself be as impor­tant as the kind of work one does, cau­tions Ursu­la Staudinger, direc­tor of the Colum­bia Aging Cen­ter and the lead author of a 2014 study of assem­bly line work­ers in Ger­many show­ing that those who changed tasks more often over 16 years had bet­ter brain func­tion and cog­ni­tive per­for­mance than those who did not…

We have found that work stim­u­lates cog­ni­tive devel­op­ment to the extent that work is engag­ing and also chal­leng­ing,” said Jacque­lyn James, co-direc­tor of the Sloan Cen­ter on Aging and Work at Boston Col­lege. “I think we used to think that doing cross­word puz­zles was the best way to keep our cog­ni­tive abil­i­ty alive and devel­op­ing and I think we’re see­ing that it takes more than that. It’s much more impor­tant to do things that chal­lenge the mind, like learn­ing a new lan­guage, or learn­ing a new technology.”

Learn more:

English About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.

English About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

Top Articles on Brain Health and Neuroplasticity

Top 10 Brain Teasers and Illusions

Newsletter

Subscribe to our e-newsletter

* indicates required

Got the book?