Retir­ing at 55 and spend­ing the rest of your life relax­ing on the front porch may sound appeal­ing, but if you want your brain to keep work­ing, it’s prob­a­bly not a good idea. Mount­ing evi­dence shows that stay­ing in the work­force into old age is good not only for our bank accounts, but also for our health and men­tal acu­ity…

Research on the topic is bur­geon­ing. Though not all of it is in agree­ment, sev­eral stud­ies com­par­ing peo­ple across indus­tri­al­ized nations have shown a strong cor­re­la­tion between early retire­ment age and dimin­ished cog­ni­tive function…

The fact that a per­son is work­ing may not in itself be as impor­tant as the kind of work one does, cau­tions Ursula Staudinger, direc­tor of the Colum­bia Aging Cen­ter and the lead author of a 2014 study of assem­bly line work­ers in Ger­many show­ing that those who changed tasks more often over 16 years had bet­ter brain func­tion and cog­ni­tive per­for­mance than those who did not…

“We have found that work stim­u­lates cog­ni­tive devel­op­ment to the extent that work is engag­ing and also chal­leng­ing,” said Jacque­lyn James, co-director of the Sloan Cen­ter on Aging and Work at Boston Col­lege. “I think we used to think that doing cross­word puz­zles was the best way to keep our cog­ni­tive abil­ity alive and devel­op­ing and I think we’re see­ing that it takes more than that. It’s much more impor­tant to do things that chal­lenge the mind, like learn­ing a new lan­guage, or learn­ing a new technology.”

Full story on the Washington Post:—not-nearly-as-sharp-studies-are-finding/2015/10/29/7a0168ba-7dac-11e5-afce-2afd1d3eb896_story.html



哥倫比亞老年研究中心主任 Ursula Staudinger,也是一份 2014年關於德國生產綫工人的研究的主要攢寫人,他指出,從事那一類工作比持續不斷工作的關鍵性要大,那些在十六年間轉換工作較多的人,他們的大腦功能和認知表現比不轉工的人要好。

Jacquelyn James是波士頓大學《Sloan老年及工作研究中心》的其中一位主任,她指出,「我們發現,一份工作所需要的投入度及其挑戰性,決定了它對認知發展的刺激有多大」。「我們曾經認為做做填字游戲是保持認知活躍和發展的最佳方法,但現在看來不是如此簡單。問題關鍵應該是所做的事要對大腦有挑戰性,例如學習一種新語言,或者一種新科技。」

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