TUESDAY, Nov. 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Housework is associated with better cognitive, physical, and sensorimotor functions in older adults, according to a study published online Nov. 22 in BMJ Open.

Shuen Yee Lee, Ph.D., from the Singapore Institute of Technology, and colleagues examined the associations between housework and functional health among community-dwelling adults separated into younger (<65 years; 249 participants) and older (≥65 years; 240 participants) cohorts.

The researchers found that among older but not younger adults, Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status scores were higher for the high-housework groups versus the low-housework groups. Heavy housework was associated with a 14 percent higher attention score, and light housework was associated with a 12 percent higher intermediate score and 8 percent higher delayed memory score. Sit-to-stand time and Physiological Profile Assessment scores among older adults were 8 and 23 percent lower in the high heavy-housework group versus low heavy-housework group, respectively. There were no differences observed in Short Physical Performance Battery or gait speed with age or heavy housework. There also were no associations between light housework and physical or sensorimotor function.

“These results collectively suggest that the higher cognitive, physical and sensorimotor functions related to heavy housework activities might plausibly be associated with lower physiological fall risk among community-dwelling older adults,” write the authors.

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