Mens Sana in Corpore Sano: The Effect of Physical Activities in Preserving Cognition in Older Age
34 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2014
Date Written: December 22, 2013
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: Suggested Citation