If you have too much to do, don’t get stressed – get smug.
Research shows busy people have sharper minds and more powerful memory.
American scientists say packing more into the day increases the opportunity to learn new things, stimulating and challenging the brain. Some 330 healthy men and women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s were quizzed about their daily schedules and put through a battery of mental tests.
The results showed no matter how old they were or how well educated, a busy lifestyle was linked to a healthy brain.
Those with a packed schedule processed information more quickly and had superior memory, reasoning and vocabulary to those who took it easy, the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience reported.
Researcher Dr Sarah Festini, of the University of Texas at Dallas, said: ‘We show that people who report greater levels of daily busyness tend to have better cognition, especially with regard to memory for recently learned information.’
The ability to remember specific events in the past was also particularly impressive.
The scientists admitted their findings do not prove being busy is good for the brain. For instance, it may be that people whose minds are still sharp do more things.
However, a spokesman for the team said: ‘Busy people are likely to have more opportunities to learn as they are exposed to more information and encounter a wider range of situations in daily life.’