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AARP survey finds most common barrier for adults to add more mentally-stimulating activities: Knowing where to start

2017 AARP Cognitive Activity and Brain Health Survey (AARP Research):

“AARP conducted a study of adults age 40+ to characterize participation in cognitively stimulating activities (CSAs)…Key findings include:

Adults who self-report their cognitive functioning, health, and well-being higher:

  • Engage in more cognitively stimulating activities (CSAs) per week.
  • Have higher average mental well-being scores.
  • Have a desire to do even more to improve their brain health.

Over eight in 10 adults age 40+ said they are willing to participate in cognitive training and three-quarters are willing to spend 15-minutes or more per day engaged in it. Those who are most willing to participate rate their current cognitive abilities the highest.

The most-frequently reported barrier to adding more mentally-stimulating activities is being uncertain of which activities benefit brain health. (Note: bolded by editor)

The top five activities adults age 40+ are willing to give up in order to add more mentally-stimulating activities are: watching TV/streaming movies, surfing the internet, playing online games not meant for brain training, recreational shopping, and doing nothing in particular.”

To prioritize which activities may benefit your brain health the most:


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