The job that you have might be one of the many things that’s protecting you from Alzheimer’s disease. One study found that people whose jobs are more mentally challenging—that is, jobs that require a lot of complex thinking—are less likely to suffer from cognitive problems later in life. This study also found that more social jobs, where people worked directly with other people rather than with computers or through computers, were more likely to protect the brain as well.
Researchers looked at several different mental demands while analyzing participants of the study. Participants’ ability to analyze data, develop strategies, evaluate information, make decisions, solve problems, and think creatively were all closely assessed through neuropsychological tests.
Jobs that required people to be constantly alert and problem-solving, such as those in the medical field, financial world, and air traffic control, were found to be some of the least likely to experience mental decline after retirement. Other risk factors, such as a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and drinking excess alcohol, were found to contribute to cognitive decline.