Using a computer may protect against memory loss late in life, as long as you also make sure to exercise, a new study suggests.
In the study, which included older adults, computer use and exercise reduced the risk of memory loss, whereas doing either activity alone did not.
Participants who engaged in moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking) and used a computer were 64 percent less likely to have mild cognitive impairment compared with those who did not exercise and did not use a computer.
Mild cognitive impairment is a condition in which people experience noticeable declines in their cognitive function, including memory and language problems, but are still able to perform everyday activities.
“The aging of baby boomers is projected to lead to dramatic increases in the prevalence of dementia,” said study researcher Dr. Yonas Geda, a physician scientist with Mayo Clinic in Arizona. “As frequent computer use has becoming increasingly common among all age groups, it is important to examine how it relates to aging and dementia.”
However, the study relied on participants to remember how often they had exercised or used a computer in the past year. More studies will be needed that follow people forward in time to confirm the results.
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