611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

member support line
M-F 5pm-8pm
24/7 weekends/holidays

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


powered by centersite dot net
Aging & Geriatrics
Basic InformationLatest News
Could Viagra Help Prevent Alzheimer's?Clearing Out Clutter Might Not Help People With DementiaBlack Americans Less Likely to Lose Hearing as They Age'Mild Cognitive Impairment' in Older Age Often Disappears, Study FindsDuring the Holidays, Help Protect the Elderly from FallsHousework Might Boost Your Body & Mind'Active Grandparent': Humans Evolved to Exercise in Old AgeReminder Apps on Smartphones May Help in Early DementiaNeurologists' Group Issues Guidance to Families on Controversial Alzheimer's DrugTrial Begins of Nasal Vaccine for Alzheimer's DiseaseGrandmother's Brain In Sync With Her Grandkids': StudyMost Older Adults Plan to Travel Soon, With Precautions: PollDemand for Liver Transplant Rises Sharply Among Older AmericansPricey Alzheimer's Drug Drives Spike in Medicare B Premium: OfficialsAlzheimer's Diagnosis May Come With Big Cost to Social LifeWhy Are So Few Seniors Getting Heart Failure Rehab?Table Set for One May Be Tough on Women's HeartsFish on Your Plate May Keep Your Brain SharpAlmost 1 in 3 U.S. Seniors Now Sees at Least 5 Doctors Per YearLanguage Can Make the Difference Between Home, Hospital Care: StudyUse of Ritalin, Other Stimulants Can Raise Heart Risks for Older AdultsCataracts Tied to Higher Odds of Death From Heart DiseaseRight Amount of Sleep May Be Important in Early Alzheimer'sWant Fewer Fractures in Nursing Homes? Put More Dairy on the MenuAHA News: Hearing Loss and the Link to DementiaFDA Eases Access to Cheaper Over-the-Counter Hearing AidsOne-Third of Americans With Arthritis Get No ExerciseMany Older Americans Who Should Be Checking Blood Pressure at Home Aren't: PollRetired and Want to Stay Sharp? Hop on the Internet More OftenFDA Approves Pfizer Booster Shots for Seniors, High-Risk AmericansTurning 65 Brings Big Health Care Cost Savings, Study FindsAfter an ICU Stay, Social Support Crucial for Seniors' SurvivalDiets That Lower Brain Iron Could Keep You SharpHealth Savings Accounts Used Least by People Who Need Them Most: PollCould Cheaper, Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Finally Be Here?Could Traffic Noise Raise Your Odds for Dementia?Postponing Retirement Might Help Keep Dementia at BayHow Common Is Opioid Misuse Among Seniors After Hip Surgery?Vaccines' Power Against COVID Hospitalization Fades in Elderly: StudyAHA News: What Are Researchers Doing to Stop Dementia?Why Water Is Key to Your Heart's HealthToo Much Screen Time Could Raise Your Odds for StrokeHaving Someone Who'll Listen May Be Good for Your Aging BrainNeuro Surprise: Some Brain Skills Might Improve With AgeA Second 'Closet' for Some LGBTQ Seniors Entering Nursing HomesAnother Pandemic Harm: Seniors May Have Higher Risk of FallingJust 200 Fewer Calories Per Day Brings Big Health Rewards for Obese SeniorsDeaths From Alzheimer's Far More Common in Rural AmericaSeniors Rarely Discuss Their Drinking With Their DoctorsLoneliness Raises Opioid Dangers in Seniors: Study
Questions and AnswersLinksBook ReviewsSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Elder Care
Lifespan Development

Housework Might Boost Your Body & Mind

HealthDay News
by By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Nov 23rd 2021

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Nov. 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Seniors, looking for a way to stay mentally quick and physically strong? Start scrubbing.

Researchers from Singapore say housework may be a key to keeping your brain sharp as you age.

Their new study found that in older adults, cleaning house was tied to a better memory and attention span, and stronger legs, which helps prevent falls.

"Health promotion messaging on staying active should not just be about recreational or non-occupation physical activities," said study co-author Shiou-Liang Wee, an associate professor of health and social sciences at the Singapore Institute of Technology.

"Housework is a purposeful activity performed by many older adults" and represents a significant share of their self-reported moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, he said. As such, it's a key complement to recreational physical activity.

The researchers noted that their study doesn't prove housework causes sharper thinking or better balance, only that there appears to be a link.

For the study, Wee's team looked at nearly 500 healthy Singaporeans between 21 and 90 years of age.

The investigators used walking and the ability to get up from a chair as an indication of physical ability, and tests of short and delayed memory, language, attention span and visuospatial ability to gauge mental ability. (Visuospatial ability is a key to depth perception and moving around without bumping into objects.)

Participants were also asked about the household chores they did and other types of physical activity.

For Wee's group, light housework included washing dishes, dusting, making the bed, hanging out the wash, ironing, tidying up and cooking. Heavy housework included window cleaning, changing the bed, vacuuming, mopping and chores involving sawing, painting and repairing.

Among younger participants, 36% said they engaged in enough physical activity to meet the goal researchers set as beneficial, as did 48% of older participants.

But 61% of younger and 66% of older participants met this target exclusively through housework, the study revealed.

After accounting for other types of regular physical activity, the researchers found that housework was tied with sharper mental abilities and better physical capacity — but only among the older participants.

Scores on tests of mental ability were as much as 8% higher among those who did lots of housework, compared with those who did little, Lee's team found. Housework was also tied with higher attention scores.

And among older participants, balance and the time it took to stand up from sitting were better for those who did lots of housework than for those who didn't.

Dr. Maria Torroella Carney, chief of geriatric and palliative medicine at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y., noted that exercise benefits your brain, and housework is exercise that also involves mental activity.

"Exercise is extremely important for aging for both physical and cognitive function," she said. "We know this from past studies, but we don't necessarily appreciate how much housework is a physical activity that takes planning logistics to implement. Exercise and planning are incredibly important for both physical and cognitive health."

Torroella Carney said physical activity increases blood circulation to your muscles and your brain, which helps mental function.

Housework can be an important part of your exercise routine, she said.

"Housework is physical but also requires detailed thought processes to complete," Torroella Carney said. "It's a task you've got to plan for. You've got to use devices, you've got to use equipment. There's planning involved, so there's cognitive exercise along with physical exercise."

Her advice: Get moving.

"It's never too late to start exercising, we know that from other studies, not just this one — it's never too late," Torroella Carney said.

The findings were published online Nov. 22 in the journal BMJ Open.

More information

There's more about brain health at the Alzheimer's Association.

SOURCES: Shiou-Liang Wee, PhD, associate professor, health and social sciences, Singapore Institute of Technology; Maria Torroella Carney, MD, chief, division of geriatric and palliative medicine, Northwell Health, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; BMJ Open, Nov. 22, 2021, online