Researchers have suggested that staying in work until you are older can help stave off memory loss. The research found that people who stay in work in their 60s have a better memory than those who retire early. The study compared people from the UK who retire at 65, people in France and Germany who retire in their 50s and people in America where many people continue to work their entire lives.
People from America scored the highest in the tests. A decreased memory faculty can lead to a lowered ability to think and reason and the old adage; “Use it or lose it” seems to be very apt. The test involved each subject being given 10 words and then asked to recite them immediately and then recite them again 10 minutes later. The best score achievable would was 20 (10 each time).
The best results were by people in the US who averaged 11 words closely followed by the UK and Denmark who achieved a score of 10. Italians scored 7, the French scored 8 and the Spanish scored 6 on average. Dr Robert Willis from the University of Michigan one of the authors of the study said: “There is evidence that social skills and personality skills – getting up in the morning, dealing with poeple, knowing the value of being prompt and trustworthy – are important. They go hand in hand with the work environment.”
Other research has found that walking just a mile a day could help stave off dementia. This separate research found that people who walk about 6 miles per week and mentally sharper in later life. Regular exercise has been shown to help alleviate the shrinking of that grey matter.