Mens Sana in Corpore Sano: The Effect of Physical Activities in Preserving Cognition in Older Age

34 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2014

See all articles by Dimitris Christelis

Dimitris Christelis

Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples Federico II; Center for Financial Studies (CFS); ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR); Netspar

Loretti Dobrescu

University of New South Wales, School of Economics

Date Written: December 22, 2013

Abstract

Using micro data from thirteen European countries, we investigate the impact of exercising on cognition in older age. Cognitive abilities are measured through scores on numeracy, fluency and recall tests. We address the endogeneity of physical activities through panel data and instrumental variable methods. We find that only the activities involving moderate effort have a strong statistically significant effect on numeracy, and we see this only for males. Second, moderate activities seem to matter for both males and females when it comes to fluency, but vigorous ones have a strong effect only for women. Third, for females, we only find an effect of moderate physical activities on immediate recall. For males, both types of activities have an impact on short-term memory, while the vigorous activities appear relevant only for delayed recall capacities. Finally, there were no effects of either type of physical activities on delayed memory for women.

Keywords: Cognition, Physical Activities, Ageing, SHARE, Panel Data

JEL Classification: I10, J14, C23

Suggested Citation

Christelis, Dimitris and Dobrescu, Loretti Isabella, Mens Sana in Corpore Sano: The Effect of Physical Activities in Preserving Cognition in Older Age (December 22, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2398688 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2398688

Dimitris Christelis (Contact Author)

Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples Federico II ( email )

Via Cintia, Monte S. Angelo
Naples, NA 80126
Italy

Center for Financial Studies (CFS) ( email )

Gr├╝neburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) ( email )

Australian School of Business
Ground Floor, East Wing UNSW Kensington Campus
Sydney, New South Wales NSW 2052
Australia
+61 (2) 9931 9202 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cepar.edu.au

Netspar ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Loretti Isabella Dobrescu

University of New South Wales, School of Economics ( email )

High Street
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

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