Gwenith Fisher and Jessica Faul

Gwenith Fisher and Jessica FaulJobs that require thinking creatively, making decisions, and solving problems may produce better brain function after retirement, according to a study by ISR researchers Gwenith Fisher and Jessica Faul. The research, featured in a March 24 article in The Huffington Post, suggests that people who hold mentally challenging jobs will likely stay sharper both while working and after they retire. The researchers analyzed data on 4,182 participants in the Health and Retirement Study who were interviewed about eight times between 1992 and 2010, starting when they were between the ages of 51 and 61. “These results suggest that working in an occupation that requires a variety of mental processes may be beneficial to employees,” Faul said. The study controlled for education and income levels of participants, but did not establish whether people with higher mental functioning to begin with were the ones to hold demanding jobs. “What people do outside of work could also be a factor,” Fisher said. “Some people may be very active in hobbies and other activities that are mentally stimulating and demanding, while others are not.”