About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Friday, March 7, 2008

Incentives for Brain Exercise?

The Sharp Brains blog has a fascinating post on how various "brain-training" programs are entering the commercial market, promising to keep brains "young," and "sharp" and reduce risk for cognitive impairment, dementia and even--who knows?--Alzheimer's disease.

The blog item is based on a recent panel on the brain-training marketplace, which attempted to draw distinctions between the hype and the science.

The scientific record of whether brain-development techniques improve performance is slight but interesting at this point. The Sharp Brains blog presents a pro-brain-training perspective.

But in the report is buried this one fascinating prediction, which could have implications in the world of HR, benefits and wellness programs:
"Insurance Companies will introduce incentives for member who want to follow brain fitness programs. Perhaps even companies will offer such programs to employees to attract and retain mature workers who want access to the best and the latest innovations to keep their minds sharp."
Are we looking at a time when insurers and companies provide wellness incentives for people who exercise their brains as well as their bodies? Should corporate wellness programs include programs designed to keep brains functioning longer and longer and better? Would effective brain fitness programs extend productivity in older workers?

Who knows? Meantime, if you're a believer there's no harm in adding some crossword puzzle and sudoku books to the reading material in the employee lounge. . .

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