Think Well At Work — And After It


Majid Ali, M.D.

There are many research studies that do not enlighten me. They do amuse me. I suppose there is still some value in the so-called new research that only validates what people with commonsense always knew.

A Heart Must Beat to Keep Beating

The lungs must breathe to continue to breathe. How many people do not know that legs need to move to stay movable? Use it or lose it, so goes an old adage. There is much which passes as new research which consumes sorely needed funds only to re-state what has been stated often and has been for a long time. One such study was published on November 19, 2014 in an online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Consider the following from the study author Alan J. Gow, of Heriot-Watt University and the Center for Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Epidemiology in Edinburgh, Scotland: “These results suggest that more stimulating work environments may help people retain their thinking skills, and that this might be observed years after they have retired.”

The study involved testing 1,066 Scottish people with an average age of 70 for memory and mentation. Specifically, the tests focused on memory, processing speed and general thinking ability. Researchers also gathered information about the jobs participants held. The job titles were assigned scores for the complexity of work with people, data and things. Jobs were deemed complex when they involved coordinating or synthesizing data, instructing, negotiating or mentoring. Jobs were considered less complex when they involved copying or comparing data. Yet more complex included lawyers, social workers, and surgeons and lower complexity scores were assigned to factory workers, painters, and janitors.

The study found what was predictable: participants who held jobs with higher levels of complexity with data and people, such as management and teaching, had better scores on memory and thinking tests.

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