Association between cognitive functioning and active life engagement: A time-use study of older adults in rural China
This study aimed to examine the pattern of active life engagement and the association between cognitive functioning and active life engagement among older adults in rural China. Two waves of panel data with the previous day’s activities in a time-use survey were collected among older adults age 60 and older in rural China. Logistic and OLS regressions were used to examine the impacts of cognitive functioning on participation and intensity in six types of activities. The overall active life engagement level of older adults in rural China was relatively low. Cognitive functioning and its decline significantly associated with the active life engagement. Older adults with higher cognitive functioning were more likely to engage in household work, recreational activity, and socially connected activity, and the decline in cognitive functioning was also significantly associated with the lower likelihood of engaging in household work, recreational activity, physical activity, and lower intensity of socially connected activity. Participation in diverse life activities is an important component of successful aging. The findings of this study suggest the need for increasing awareness of the influence of cognition on daily activities. Future interventions need to consider cognitive health to maximize active life engagement in Chinese rural older adults.
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