Much has been said about the time younger generations spend online and the potential problems that habit can bring.
Finding the optimal amount of screen time for older persons may help lower their risk of dementia, according to research from the NYU School of Global Public Health.
Among persons aged 50-65, researchers found that regular internet users may have a decreased risk of dementia than non-regular users.
The study’s author, Gowan Cho, said that this use finding is crucial because it suggests that changes in internet usage in old age affect cognitive health.
Because it promotes cognitive engagement and facilitates communication and learning, researchers were not shocked to read that regular internet use might lessen the risk of dementia, but it’s also been pointed out that sitting for too long is a potential risk of excessive internet use.
Senior citizens should take a break every hour or two from their computer work by getting up and moving about.
More than 18,000 persons in the United States were analyzed to see if and how internet use is associated with an increased risk of dementia. When the study began in 2002, all participants were aged 50–65.
All participants were interviewed every two years to record their internet usage patterns after having initial mental health examinations.
A “regular internet user” is someone who answers “yes” to this question consistently.” Those who said “no” were classified as “non-regular users.”
By the time the study was stopped, little under 5% of the original individuals had developed dementia. While over 87% of the subjects were still cognitively intact at death, just about 8% had died without developing dementia.
According to Alzheimer’s Association’s senior director of scientific program and outreach Claire Sexton, Alzheimer’s risk factors can change the more we know about them.
She said the research is essential because it identifies behavior that may be modified to lower the risk of developing dementia.