Participation in social activities in later life: does enjoyment have important implications for cognitive health?

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Studies have demonstrated that regularly participating in activities with others may be important for cognitive health. However, less is known about why social activities are beneficial to cognitive health. This review will highlight several important concepts to consider when studying social activities and the cognitive health of older adults. The potential psychological and physiological mechanisms linking social activities to cognitive health will be discussed, with special attention to enjoyment and the elements important for enjoyment. Little is known about enjoyment in later life and if it is important for cognitive health. A deeper understanding of the mechanisms by which enjoyment in later life may affect cognitive health could help to inform future clinical and public health interventions.

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