Keep Your Mind Sharp

The next time your husband grumbles when you ask him to take out the trash, tell him you're doing him a favor: A small study of 70- to 79-year-olds shows that performing routine household chores helps keep your mind sharp.

Instead of focusing on formal exercise, the study looked at older adults' everyday activities. Researchers measured activity energy expenditure and found that participants who

  • did housework,
  • walked,
  • climbed stairs and
  • took care of loved ones
were less likely to suffer from cognitive impairment than those who expended little energy during the day.

Larger studies are needed, but it can never hurt to get up and go fold the laundry you're avoiding.

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, vol. 171, p. 1251; Prepared by the Editors of The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 17 Jul 2013

Last Modified: 17 Jul 2013