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Exercise, Chores, and Social Visits May Reduce Risk of Cognitive Decline

Previous research has identified several modifiable lifestyle behaviors including exercising and a healthy diet that may reduce the risk of cognitive decline. According to a new study, frequent exercise, housework activities, and regular visits with family and friends may help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

The researchers used data from 501,376 adults who did not have dementia at the beginning of the study. Participants were followed for an average of 10.5 years and all incidences of dementia were recorded.

Participants completed a questionnaire that gathered data regarding physical activity, including physical activity at leisure time, housework-related activity, walking or biking as transportation, and participating in strenuous sports. They completed another questionnaire that gathered data regarding mental activities, including attendance of adult education classes, frequency of visitations with family and friends, and use of electronic devices to play computer games.

Participants with the highest engagement in frequent exercise, household chores, and daily social visits had 35%, 21%, and 15% decreased risk of cognitive decline, respectively, compared to participants who had the least engagement.

The study was conducted by researchers from Sichuan University.  It was published online ahead of print on July 27, 2022 in the journal Neurology.

A previous study found that cranberries may help improve cognitive function.

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