Did you know that doing household chores can actually help your brain stay healthier? A study that was conducted by Baycrest Center for Geriatric Care showed that older adults who perform household chores are found to have bigger brain volume especially on the frontal lobe as well as in the hippocampus. These two areas are often associated with memory as well as cognition.
According to the lead author of the work, Noah Koblinsky, their study was the first of its kind. We all know that doing physical activities does help with our brain functions. The goal of their research was to measure the brain volume as well as cognition in older adults when they perform household chores.
The study involved 66 healthy adults who had to undergo three assessments for their health evaluation, cognitive assessment, and structural brain imaging. All the participants were asked how often they do household chores, what types of chores they do, such as preparing meals, dusting surfaces, sweeping the floors, and so on.
The researchers discovered that those who did physical activities and household chores had more brain volume compared to others. This was determined by the researchers based on the brain imaging of their participants, which showed larger sizes in the frontal lobe and hippocampus.
Benefits of Doing Household Chores to the Brain
There are several possible benefits of doing household chores to our brains. Here are a few that are worth mentioning.
- It is possible that the health of the brain and the heart are connected. Since doing household chores is similar to that of low-intensity aerobic exercise, it does have the same effect on the blood vessels and heart to the brain.
- Household chores usually require planning and organization. It is possible that this way of cleaning helps form new neural connections in our brains as we age.
- It is also possible that because we are doing household chores often, we avoid living a sedentary life. This also reduces our risk of health-related diseases caused by being stagnant.
The goal of the study was to be able to find ways to assist older adults in avoiding the onset of mental health issues like dementia with the aid of household chores. By showing proof of the positive effects of doing these chores, it would help convince the elderly that doing these tasks can benefit them in the long run. Additionally, since these chores are the things that we often do growing up, it won’t be challenging to perform even as we age.
The next step of the study is to further assess the impact of household chores in a more objective manner by asking their participants to use wearable technology to keep track of their progress. This will require further funding for the researchers to conduct their studies which can include doing controlled trials to see the effects of letting older adults do more chores to their brains and more.