Leisure activities can reduce the risk of dementia

mental activities A 23% lower risk of dementia was found in participants whose hobbies included reading books, magazines, or newspapers; watch television; listen to the radio; do calligraphy; playing cards or checkers; do crosswords or other puzzles; playing musical instruments; surf the Internet; The painting; and do crafts.

Physical activity A 17% lower risk of dementia was found in participants whose activities included walking for exercise, hiking, jogging or running, swimming, climbing stairs, bicycling, use of exercise equipment, ball games or racquet sports, participation in group exercises, qigong or yoga. , doing gymnastics and dancing.

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Social activities A 7% lower risk of dementia was found in participants whose activities included attending an interest class, joining a social center, participating in volunteer work, meeting relatives or friends , participation in religious activities and participation in organized group discussions.

“This meta-analysis suggests that being active has benefits, and there are many activities that are easy to incorporate into daily life that can benefit the brain,” Lu said.

He noted that the meta-analysis had limitations, including that study participants were not followed for very long. More than a third of the studies had a follow-up of less than six years. Future studies would benefit from involving larger numbers of participants, with longer follow-ups, he suggested. Lu also said in the report that only a handful of studies in the analysis included social activities and that it was not possible to investigate the extent to which participants engaged in all three types of activities, which made it difficult to determine the “real impact” that participation in social hobbies has on reducing the risk of dementia.

Other researchers warn that the cause and effect relationship is not so clear. A study published in The Lancet last year noted that “long before dementia is diagnosed, there is a gradual reduction in various mental and physical activities, primarily because its gradual onset causes inactivity, not because inactivity causes inactivity. dementia”.

The Lancet The study included around 850,000 women in the UK who were followed up to age 16. Associations between non-participation in leisure activities and dementia were not maintained over time.

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