To Your Health
March, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 03)
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Time to Socialize

By Editorial Staff

How much can be accomplished in a 10-minute conversation? New research indicates that talking to another person for just 10 minutes a day can improve memory and test scores. In a study of 3,610 people ages 24 to 96, researchers discovered that a higher level of social interaction (visiting or talking on the phone with family, friends or neighbors) resulted in better cognitive functioning. So, in addition to reading, doing crossword puzzles and taking classes to boost brainpower, now you can just call up a friend.

A hand holding a cell phone. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Another study involving 76 college students ages 18 to 21 suggested that having a friendly chat with someone each day may rival a daily crossword puzzle for mental acuity. The college students were divided into three groups: 1) the social interaction group, which discussed a social issue for 10 minutes before taking a set of lab tests; 2) the intellectual activities group, which completed three tasks (such as reading and crossword puzzles) before the tests; and 3) a control group that watched "Seinfeld" for 10 minutes. Short-term social interaction boosted intellectual performance as much as doing "intellectual" activities for the same amount of time.

So take time to socialize - 10 minutes of bonding with a friend, getting together with family or chatting with a neighbor will not only lighten the mood, but also make you smarter.