While there are many benefits to quitting your job, enjoying a good retirement and living a slow life, you may also lose your brain’s sharpness a little faster, according to a new study using data from China.
as in many other countriesincreased life expectancy and decreased fertility China’s elderly population is growing rapidlyThis led to the introduction of a new Rural Pension Scheme (NRPS) in the country.
NRPS provides a stable income if participants retire at age 60. Against this background, a new study was carried out. The benefits of this approach also seem to have a not-so-good effect.
“Program participants report significantly lower levels of social engagement and significantly lower rates of volunteerism and social interaction than non-beneficiaries.” Applied economist Plamen Nikolov says From Binghamton University in New York.
“We found that increased social isolation is strongly associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults.”
Examining episodic memory recall tests and other ways to measure cognitive performance, researchers analyzed 10 years of government data on 15,990 individuals. Most of them belonged to the community that adopted NRPS.
Retirement had some positives. Retirees started drinking less on average and were more likely to quit smoking than when they were working. After retirement, my sleep habits also improved.
However, activities related to social activity, social engagement, and mental health were all reduced. It was noticeable.
“Individuals in areas with NRPS have significantly lower scores than those living in areas without NRPS programs.” Nikolov says.
“Over nearly a decade of implementing this program, cognitive performance declined by almost one-fifth of the standard deviation of the memory measures we investigated.”
The researchers suggested that social isolation was key to the cognitive decline observed in their study, which could be addressed by introducing community programs and activities for older adults. be.
The team not only seeks this kind of support, but also explores how different job types (with other mental demands) affect cognitive decline in retirement, which is not covered here. I would like to investigate.
people around the world live long, quitting the routine usually makes a big change in just about every aspect of the life we have left. This may mean that health and well-being care also needs to change.
“The kinds of things that are important and determine better health may be quite different from the kinds of things that are important for better cognition in older people. Nikolov says.
“Social engagement and connection may be the single most powerful factor for cognitive performance in older adults.”
This research Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.