If you thought retirement was about putting your feet up and reading the paper, then think again!

A large British study that tracked 3,400 retired civil servants showed that brain function declines rapidly unless you ensure you have an active retirement.

Researchers warned that a sedentary lifestyle after working took a heavy toll on cognitive function and speeds up memory loss and dementia.

This confirms previous studies that show that ‘cognitively active’ brains offset the risk of dementia with social interaction, taking up a new skill, volunteering and other similar activities that have the most beneficial effect.

Even those individuals with mentally demanding jobs saw a rapid decline in brain function once they retired.

The volunteers who took part in the study had checks on verbal memory and the ability to recall words, as well as tests on reasoning and verbal fluency over a 30 year period.

It appears that retirement can be the catalyst that drives decline in memory unless pensioners keep physically and mentally active.

The report concluded: “Retirement accelerates the decline in verbal memory function.

“This study highlights the benefits of stimulating work activities that benefit older people’s memory.”

Experts say the best way to avoid the conditions is stay active, eat a healthy diet, stop smoking and drink in moderation.

see our other blogs on active ageing here:

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