Performing basic household tasks, such as sweeping or mopping, can have relevance to our brain health. Recent research published in BMJ Journals reveals that spending time in these activities improves brain health and benefits, above all, older people.
The objective of this research was to analyze how regular recreational physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity may be able to improve physical and cognitive functions . In this way, the researchers examined the associations between housework and functional health in a group of 66 young and old adults from Singapore.
What are the benefits of cleaning or shopping?
Physical function was analyzed using a battery of short physical performance activities, such as repeated sitting and standing in the chair and gait speed. Cognitive and sensorimotor functions were assessed by an assessment of neuropsychological status and a physiological profile.
“Scientists already know that exercise has a positive impact on the brain, but our study is the first to show that the same can be true for housework,” explains in statements collected by Infosalus Noah Koblinsky, lead author of the study , a physiologist and project coordinator at Baycrest’s. Rotman Research Institute (RRI).
For the study, participants were asked about the daily time they spent on activities such as cleaning the kitchen, shopping, tidying up the house, or doing some home repair. In this sense, the results revealed that older adults who dedicated more hours to these tasks had more brain volume.
Improved attention and memory
This information was observed in the hippocampus, “which plays an important role in memory and learning, and in the frontal lobe, which participates in many aspects of cognition,” they add in Infosalus.
In this way, one of the related benefits is that it improves heart health. On the other hand, planning and organizing tasks at home can help the formation of new neural connections . Finally, older adults who spend more time doing housework are less sedentary.
The conclusions of the study show that, among older adults, doing housework is associated with greater cognitive function, especially with regard to attention and memory. “Associations of household chores with physical function and sensorimotor performance were dependent on intensity,” the research concludes.