Daily Mail

Doing chores may help ward off dementia

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WASHING up, ironing and hoovering may seem like tedious tasks.

But those who spend more time doing household chores have larger brains and could be less likely to suffer from dementia, a study has found.

It is already known that 30 minutes of daily light exercise – such as cleaning – can reduce the risk of death in older people. But scientists have found housework boosts brain volume and cognition too.

Canadian researcher­s recruited 66 people who had no cognitive impairment and were around the age of 70.

Participan­ts took part in a health evaluation, cognitive test and brain imaging. Physical activity – such as tidying and dusting – was assessed by questionna­ire.

Those who spent more time doing chores had greater brain volume in the hippocampu­s, used in memory, and in the frontal lobe, involved in cognition – regardless of how active they were.

The study, in the BMC Geriatrics journal, said the planning involved may promote new connection­s in the brain over time.

Senior author Dr Nicole Anderson, of Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, said: ‘These findings may motivate older adults to be more active.’

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