Cognitive function worsened by dull and dirty workplaces

Posted on June 20, 2016

The researchers analyzed data of 4,963 adults (53 percent female) aged 32-84 years who were part of the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study.

Occupational information was gathered from the participants, including their employment status, place of work, job complexity, physical hazards in the workplace, and workplace conditions - such as cleanliness.

The cognitive function of the participants was assessed using the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (BTACT), which tested their episodic memory, self-perceived memory, and executive functioning.

The researchers found that men and women who worked in unclean working environments - that is, employees who were exposed to mold, solvents, and other chemicals at work - were more likely to experience cognitive decline than those not exposed to such work environments.

Specifically, employees who worked in dirty environments were found to have poorer episodic memory - the ability to remember events, such as times and places - and executive functioning - the ability to control and use higher-level cognitive skills.

Furthermore, the study revealed that employees with greater occupational complexity - the opportunity to learn new skills and take up new challenges - had better cognitive function than those with unstimulating jobs. This association was strongest for women.

Adults with stimulating jobs experienced better executive functioning, episodic memory, and self-perceived memory.

Overall, the researchers say their findings highlight the importance of stimulating, clean work environments for employees

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Source material from Medical News Today

Mental Health News