Monday, January 23, 2012

Growing old "On-line" helps body and brain.

One of the challenges facing us all as we age is twin threat of social isolation and increasing frailty. Social media thankfully is helping to make a big difference here and to empower those who were previously all on their own.

Not only has modern IT allowed us to interact and keep informed like never before, but it's also helped with keeping fit. Many health  and community departments worldwide have been incorporating electronic devises such as Wii and Xbox to help with home exercise programs with great results. By having a 3D screen on the front of your home treadmill or exercise bike,  you not only have a great deal more interest in doing exercise, but also it can give you a bit of healthy competition as well! Added to that is the fact that because many newer 3D programs having you careering around corners (naturally for the more advanced users!) then balance is challenged and improved too!

Now research is showing that not only can modern IT help with physical things, but mood and personality can also be enhanced too, according to Professor and study co-author Brent Roberts from the University of Illinois. The personality trait that showed modest improvement over the course of the trial was "Openess" - or being flexible and creative, which is not a bad thing to be if you want to age gracefully. Prof Roberts took his patients through a personalize cognitive training program and not only did they improve in their cognitive skills, but there was also a significant increase in their Openess.

So for those of a greying tendency, get plugged in, get active  and stimulate your brains all in the comfort of your own home. As one gets old, life can be tough, but it can also still be exciting!
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Davinia said...

I totally agree. I've told my children when they finally ship me off to the nursing home I want an iphone, ipad, ipod and an imac complete with earphones (I'll probably have hearing loss by then). Hopefully my fingers won't be too arthritic and I'll still be ale to tap out a text message, something along the lines of "when are you coming to visit and please bring chocolate".

Mariodacatsmom said...

I have to agree with you - my big fear is finding a nursing home that will allow my computer and wifi! I'm hooked on blogging and Twitter - for social purposes.