A new study has found that physical stress at your job may make your brain age faster and lead to poorer cognitive functions as you age.
The team of researchers involved in this study arrived at this conclusion after connecting brain-imaging data with responses from a survey on workplace stress among healthy older adults, aged 60 to 79. The study team found that those who reported high levels of stress at their most recent job performed poorer in memory tests and had smaller volumes of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that regulates memory.
In contrast, the researchers found that leisure physical activity protects the brain. Furthermore, the researchers found that leisure physical activity was associated with a greater volume of the hippocampus, suggesting that the more leisure physical activity we engage in, the better and sharper our memories when we age.
The study team hopes these findings could inform workplace interventions to incorporate leisure physical activity into normal work schedules to improve brain health of employees.