Section 61
Chapter 60,328

The association between paid or voluntary employment and neuropsychological test performance at an older age

Weghorst, R.B.W.M.; Scherder, E.J.A.; Oosterman, J.M.

Tijdschrift Voor Gerontologie en Geriatrie 48(2): 59-66


ISSN/ISBN: 0167-9228
PMID: 28275960
DOI: 10.1007/s12439-017-0211-y
Accession: 060327475

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Studies have convincingly shown that both physical and mental activity are positively associated with cognitive task performance in aging. Little is known, however, about whether still being employed or doing volunteer work, which obviously engages physical and/or mental activity, is similarly associated with cognitive ability at an older age. The current study explored this relationship in 28 volunteers aged sixty years and older. Participants completed a neuropsychological test battery, and data regarding the number of working hours (paid and voluntary) per week were collected. A total of 28 participants were included, 13 of whom worked three or more hours per week. As a group, these active participants achieved better episodic memory, sustained attention and psychomotor speed results. This study shows that older people who are still working demonstrate better neuropsychological task performance. An important question for future research concerns the causality of this relationship.

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