Daily activities that can reduce your risk of dementia | health and fitness


FRIDAY, Aug. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Reading, doing yoga and spending time with family and friends could help lower your risk of dementia, according to a new study.

“Previous studies have shown that leisure activities are associated with various health benefits, such as lower cancer risk, reduced atrial fibrillation, and a person’s perception of their own well-being” , said study author Lin Lu, of Peking University Sixth Hospital in Beijing, China.

“However, there is conflicting evidence for the role of leisure activities in preventing dementia. Our research found that leisure activities such as crafts, sports or volunteering were linked to a reduced risk of dementia,” Lu added.

For the new study, Lu and his team reviewed 38 studies involving more than 2 million people without dementia. Of these, 74,700 developed dementia during the three-year follow-up.

After controlling for factors such as age, gender and education, investigators found that people who engaged in leisure activities had a 17% lower risk of dementia than those who did not. did not practice it.

The study looked at mental, physical and social activities.

Mental activities included reading, writing for pleasure, watching television, listening to the radio, playing games or musical instruments, using a computer, and doing crafts. People who practiced these activities had a 23% lower risk of dementia.

Physical activities – including walking, running, swimming, cycling, using exercise equipment, playing sports, yoga and dancing – were linked to a 17% lower risk of dementia , the researchers found.

Engaging in social activities – such as keeping in touch with others, taking classes, joining clubs, volunteering, spending time with relatives or friends, or going to church – was associated with a lower risk by 7%.

This study cannot prove that these activities reduce the risk of dementia, only that there may be a link, the team noted.

“This meta-analysis suggests that being active has benefits, and there are many activities that are easy to incorporate into daily life that may benefit the brain,” Lu said in a press release from the American Academy of Neurology. “Our research found that leisure activities can reduce the risk of dementia. Future studies should include larger sample sizes and longer follow-up time to reveal more links between leisure activities and dementia.”

The report was published online August 10 in the journal Neurology.

More information

There’s more on dementia at the Alzheimer’s Association.

SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, press release, August 10, 2022

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Richard V. Johnson