Things are looking up for ageing and intelligence.

A group of population experts from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IILSA) have published a study (published in journal PLOS ONE) that looks at data that was collected in Germany between the period of 2006 – 2012.

Older people are getting smarter, but not fitter

The IILSA researchers found that cognitive test scores increased for both men and women at all ages from 50 – 90, while physical and mental health declined. Low-educated men aged 50 – 64 were even more likely to suffer.

One explanation for the improvement in cognitive performance is lifestyle. The lead researcher, Nadia Steiber suggests that life has become more cognitively challenging; from the use of technology and people working longer in more demanding jobs. On the other hand, people are less physically active which is why obesity is on the rise.

It’s great to hear that intelligence is booming in the ageing population but it’s important that you stay active as well. Whether you walk, swim or take a Pilates class it is important for your overall health and wellbeing to keep moving.

References: Population Aging at Cross-Roads: Diverging Secular Trends in Average Cognitive Functioning and Physical Health in the Older Population of Germany