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Driving long hours can make you dumber, study finds

/ 03:16 PM October 28, 2017

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People who have spent long hours behind the wheel knows that the task takes a physical and mental toll on the body.

A study done by researchers from the University of Leicester in England has found that the seemingly menial chore can also decrease drivers’ brainpower.

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After observing more 500,000 subjects in five years aged between 37 and 73 who drove for more than two hours a day, the researchers concluded that those who had long driving stints steadily reduced their IQ.

“We know that regularly driving for more than two to three hours a day is bad for your heart,” the study’s lead author,  Kishan Bakrania, told The Sunday Times.

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“This research suggests it is bad for your brain, too, perhaps because your mind is less active in those hours.”

Furthermore, Bakrania and his team suggested that drivers are subjected to more stress and fatigue while on the road, which correlates to an impending cognitive decline.

Participants were asked to take analysis tests, which featured intelligence and memory questionnaires.

Those who drove for at least two hours a day recorded much lower IQ scores than their counterparts, the report said.

Bakrania noted that the results were similar for people who watched TV for more three hours daily.

“Cognitive skills were boosted in people who used computers up to two to three hours a day,” he said. “When watching TV, your brain is less active, but using a computer is stimulating.”

He added that cognitive decline is measurable over five years, particularly for  middle-aged and older people. Other factors include overall lifestyle choices including smoking and a bad diet.  Khristian Ibarrola /ra

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