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HHS HealthBeat (May 15, 2014)

The benefit of active thinking

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Work that makes you think might build memory power that lasts after you retire. Researcher Gwenith Fisher of Colorado State University examined memory test data on almost 4,200 people starting when they were 51 and older. They had been doing essentially the same work for at least 10 years before they retired.

Fisher looked at memory while they were working:
“Workers in more mentally challenging jobs had better memory compared to workers who were involved in less mentally demanding jobs.”

And she says that, after they retired, people in jobs that required more problem-solving and creative thinking generally held onto memory ability better than the others.

The study in the Journal of Occupational Health was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: May 15, 2014