Economic reports show that traditional economic variables are becoming insufficient in indicating nation’s progress and that self-reported well-being is emerging as an important indicator of nation’s prosperity and quality of life of its inhabitants. Since average life expectancy is consistently increasing all over the world, practitioners and scholars are increasingly confronted with the question of what can be done to improve the well-being of growing elderly population. An often highlighted characteristic of older adults is cognitive decline, and interventions aimed at improving or maintaining cognitive abilities of elderly are being extensively designed. In this chapter we will review studies indicating a link between cognition and well-being in aging and advocate (long-term) involvement in leisure activities as a form of cognitive training. Apart from its availability to a much wider audience than those participating in cognitive interventions, a key argument in favor of leisure activities is its unambiguous positive association with well-being.
Part of the book: Well-being and Quality of Life