Indeed, a lot of work is repetitive and unnecessarily political, as we jump through hoops to make it up the ladder. And while our work may not be the most stimulating thing to do, it keeps our brain active.
The researchers find a straight-line relationship between the percentage of people in a country who are working at age 60 to 64 and their performance on memory tests. The longer people in a country keep working, the better, as a group, they do on the tests when they are in their early 60s.
We need challenges. We need some type of mind games to keep our brains fresh as we age. If we can't recall how to act like inquisitive children who willfully fail, we need something more than physical exercise to hold up neurological plasticity.
While work can be depressing, it's keeps the brain cells running. Excess relaxation is what dulls the mind. Use it or lose it.