Routine Jobs Elevate Cognitive Decline Risk: Study
Routine Jobs Elevate Cognitive Decline Risk: Study

Routine Jobs Elevate Cognitive Decline Risk: Study

Oslo, 18 Apr (ONA) --- A new study discovered that engaging your brain extensively at your job could pay off in more ways than boosting your career, it may also protect your cognition and help prevent dementia as you age.

The study found that holding a routine job lacking mental stimulation in one's 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s correlated with a 66% higher risk of mild cognitive impairment and a 37% greater risk of dementia after age 70, compared to jobs with high cognitive and interpersonal demands.

“Our results show the value of having an occupation that requires more complex thinking as a way to maintain memory and thinking in old age,” said lead author Dr. Trine Edwin, a researcher at Oslo University Hospital in Norway. “The workplace is really important in promoting cognitive health.”

“Staying actively engaged in life, maintaining a sense of purpose, learning new things and remaining socially active are powerful tools to protect against cognitive decline as we age,” said Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of research at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Florida.

The study, published in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, analyzed health and occupational data on 7,000 Norwegians who were followed from their 30s until they retired in their 60s.

“Many other studies on this topic have just looked at the most recent jobs that people have,” Edwin said, “but due to the national database we have in Norway we were able to follow people over much of their lifetimes.”

Edwin and team examined 305 Norwegian jobs, finding routine roles lacking cognitive protection, like factory work and bookkeeping.

Isaacson stressed cognitive engagement’s importance, suggesting professional growth and skill refinement to stave off Alzheimer's.

Maintaining a brain-healthy lifestyle, which includes following a Mediterranean diet, managing vascular risks like hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol, addressing hearing and vision loss, ensuring sufficient sleep, and managing stress, is crucial in preventing cognitive decline.