Mentally stimulating work may keep your mind sharp, research says
By Maureen Salamon, HealthDay Reporter
The researchers compared IQ scores obtained around age 11 from more than 1,000 Scottish people with their memory and reasoning scores around age 70. The scientists found that those who had mentally stimulating jobs appeared to retain sharper thinking even years after retirement.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh scored workers’ jobs for their complexity with people, data and other things. Complex data jobs might involve coordinating or synthesizing data, for example. Less complex occupations might involve comparing or copying data.
In working with others, more complex occupations involve instructing, negotiating or mentoring. Less complex roles might involve taking instructions or helping.
“We see that those in more complex jobs generally do better on a range of cognitive ability measures,” said study author Alan Gow, an assistant professor of psychology at Heriot-Watt University and the Centre for Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Epidemiology in Edinburgh, Scotland.
“That’s not necessarily surprising … but we were able to add an interesting twist [because] we had data on our participants’ cognitive ability in childhood,” Gow added.