October 23, 2005

Certain People Should Not Read This Post

Filed under: Economy,General — Tom @ 1:35 pm

Uh-oh. Shopping Keeps You Sharp:

Staying Sharp: Yet Another Reason to Shop

When the going gets tough, it turns out the tough go shopping. That’s because particular types of shopping actually help you remain mentally sharp and physically healthy, according to Guy McKhann, MD, a neurologist at Johns Hopkins.

To research their book Keep Your Brain Young, McKhann and his coauthor and wife, Marilyn Albert, PhD, who directed gerontology research at Massachusetts General Hospital, separated 75- to 80-year-olds into two groups: those who continued to function well and those in a physical and mental downward drift. For five to seven years, the couple followed the groups, a total of 700 people, equally divided between men and women. They posed the question: What differences in behavior are there between the first and second groups? Their conclusion: “Those who continued to do well were physically active, mentally active, and continued to see themselves having a role to play in life,” says McKhann. Looking at the data, Albert had another thought: Perhaps the healthy women shopped.

Shopping, McKhann theorizes, involves all the ingredients for staying fit and alert. There’s physical activity — walking, moving, lifting products, trying on clothes, carrying shopping bags; and there’s mental activity — comparing prices, searching for bargains, making choices. “And after a successful shopping trip, you have a sense of accomplishment,” says McKhann.

“Meanwhile,” he says, pointing out certain gender-based differences, “the men haven’t done anything but watch the game, and half of them feel lousy afterwards because their team lost.”

Okay, what’s the repsonse to a spouse or child who says “I’m going to the mall for a brain workout?”

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