Chores can help keep your mind and body fit until old age

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Carlos Laforet Coll

Older people who continue to do housework have better cognition, attention span, and physical strength

Older people who continue to do housework have better cognition, attention span, and physical strength

According to a search housework for the elderly has enormous benefits since improve la the memory, attention span and the strength in the legs and this implies a increased protection against falls. Regular physical activity is effective in maintaining health both physically and mentally, and among the elderly it reduces the risks of long-term conditions, falls, immobility, addiction and death.

However, global monitoring data indicates that physical activity was well below recommended weekly levels in 2016, especially in high-income countries. So, since housework involves physical activity, the researchers wanted to understand whether doing housework can contribute to healthy aging and increase the physical and mental capacity of the elderly.

A systematic review 

The study included 489 randomly selected adults, ages 21 to 90, with fewer than 5 underlying conditions and no cognitive problems. All lived independently in a large residential city in Singapore, and were able to perform routine daily tasks.

assess physical ability Walking speed, i.e. gait, and the speed from sitting to standing from a chair were used as indicative of leg strength and risk of falls. Validated tests were used for evaluate mental agility, i.e. short and delayed memory, visuospatial skills, language and attention span, along with other physiological factors related to falls.

Participants were asked about the intensity and frequency of household chores they did regularly, as well as how many other types of physical activity they did. Light housework included washing dishes, dusting, making the bed, hanging clothes, ironing, tidying and cooking, while heavy chores were cleaning windows, changing the bed, vacuuming, and mopping the floor.

The results

Only about a third (36%; 90) of those in the younger group and only about half (48%; 116) of those in the older age group achieved the physical activity rate recommended by recreational physical activity alone. But nearly two-thirds (61%, 152 younger and 66%, 159 older) achieved the goal solely through housework.

The results showed that i housework was associated with sharper mental abilities and better physical capacity. According to the researchers, moreover, since aerobic exercise is connected to an improvement in cognitive function, even housework could promote greater physical, and especially mental, agility in the elderly.

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Photos: BMJ

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