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Seniors' Health Channel
Reported March 26, 2014

Mentally Challenging Jobs May Protect Brain Later

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – A job that’s mentally demanding has been linked to better memories and cognitive abilities after retirement, according to a study from the University of Michigan.

Researchers studied over 4,000 participants starting when they were between the ages of 51 and 61. Over a period of 18 years, participants were interviewed an average of eight times. They were asked about the mental challenges they face at work, while also doing memory and cognitive tests. Researchers found those with more mentally demanding jobs were more likely to have better mental functioning after retirement than those with less mentally demanding jobs, and the gap only widened as the groups aged.

"These results suggest that working in an occupation that requires a variety of mental processes may be beneficial to employees," researcher Jessica Faul was quoted as saying. "Employers should strive to increase mental engagement at work and, if possible, outside of work as well, by emphasizing life-long learning activities."

For more information, go to: http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/22076-mentally-challenging-jobs-may-keep-your-mind-sharp-long-after-retirement

SOURCE: Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, March 2014

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