I love the internet—and certain technological advancements—as much as the next guy.
But I also believe in moderation.
Because, as I’ve written before, overusing platforms (like social media) can destroy your mental health.
That said, it was nice to stumble upon some good news linked to regular internet usage…
In fact, a new study suggests it may be a “healthy” habit for older adults.
“Modern” brain protection
Researchers followed over 18,000 older adults, who were part of the Health and Retirement Study, up to 17 years.
At study outset, all participants were dementia-free. Every two years, they completed the Modified Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS-M) and were asked about their internet usage.
Turns out, nearly 65 percent were regular internet users. And that “modern” habit CUT their dementia risk nearly in half!
Not only that, but longer durations of use—up to two hours daily—seemed to offer even more brain protection.
However, there IS a happy medium. Because excessive use provided the opposite effect… adversely affecting dementia risk.
In fact, researchers noted a U-shaped association between daily hours of internet usage and dementia risk:
- 0 hours = high dementia risk
- 1 to 2 hours = lowest dementia risk
- 1 to 6 hours = slightly increased dementia risk
- 1 to 8 hours = highest dementia risk
All things in moderation
For the study, internet usage was defined as logging on for anything other than watching television or movies.
And I have to say, the results are interesting—but not surprising.
After all, it’s consistent with other modifiable risk factors… too little or too much often leads to no benefit. Or, sometimes, may worsen outcomes.
So, when it comes to the internet, moderation is key.
Still, you must keep your mind actively engaged to stave off dementia. And while the internet can be scary at times, it offers endless channels of communication, information, and more—just use those keystrokes for good (always be vigilant).
As for me, I enjoy some daily leisurely time online. This usually consists of catching up with old friends on Facebook or Instagram… perusing the latest trending news… or streaming video.
But I also make time to do The New York Times crossword and I practice Spanish for 30 minutes every day. So whatever you do, be sure to adopt some healthy pastimes that stimulate your own curious mind!
And try to avoid getting sucked into a cyberspace rabbit hole.
For additional all-natural ways to protect and restore your memory, strengthen focus, and fight dementia, check out my Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment Plan. To learn more about this comprehensive, online protocol—or to enroll today—click here now.
“Internet Use a Modifiable Dementia Risk Factor in Older Adults?” Medscape, 05/17/2023. (medscape.com/viewarticle/992111)