Weekly romp good for ageing brains

23 June 2017 - 05:52
Image: iStock

Doing crossword puzzles or learning languages has long been touted as staving off mental decline — but now a new study says regular sex for over-50s should help too.

The British study, published in the Journals of Gerontology this week, tested 28 men and 45 women aged between 50 and 83 for a range of cognitive abilities and asked if they had sex weekly, monthly or never.

People who engaged in sexual activity at least once a week scored highly on verbal fluency and visuo-spatial ability in which participants were asked to copy a complex design and draw a clock face from memory.

"It is possible that increasing frequency of sexual activity corresponds to better cognition," said the researchers from the universities of Coventry and Oxford.

"People don't like to think that older people have sex," Hayley Wright, the lead researcher, said.

"But we need to challenge this conception and look at what effect sexual activity can have on those aged 50 and over," she said. 

• This article was originally published in The Times.