Procrastinating on your spring cleaning? You may want to pick up that mop and get busy because new research finds doing household chores is good for our brains. It turns out, tasks like washing dishes, doing laundry and working in the yard can actually boost brain health.
In thenew studyfrom Baycrest Hospital’s Rotman Research Institute in Toronto researchers gave participants a health evaluation, brain imaging and a cognitive test to check mental capacities. The results show that older adults who regularly do housework have larger brains - which is a strong predictor of cognitive health. And those who spent more time on chores had bigger brains, regardless of how much exercise they do.
Researchers point out that household tasks like cooking and cleaning are similar to low-intensity aerobics, which is good for the heart and blood vessels, too. So how do chores give the brain a boost? They keep people moving and using their minds for planning and organizing purposes. Study authors hope their findings motivate people to be more active, and since chores are a necessary part of our daily lives, they’re an easy way to make that happen.