Longer and more intense physical activity may help people maintain their cognitive skills as they age, according to a 10-year study of elderly men published in the December 28, 2004 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
The study reviewed the data of 295 men, born between 1900 and 1920, from the Finland, Italy and Netherlands Elderly (FINE) Study. Beginning in 1990, researchers measured the duration and intensity of physical activities such as walking, bicycling, gardening, farming, sports, odd jobs, and hobbies. Cognitive functioning was tested with the Mini Mental State Examination.
The study showed that over 10 years the cognitive decline in men who had reduced their daily physical activity by an hour or more was 2.6 times greater than the decline in men who maintained their activity.
Marilee Reu | American Academy of Neurology
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