Gendered leisure time-use and its impact on cognitive function among older adults in rural China

Huijun Liu, Yaolin Pei, Bei Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing evidence has shown that an active, socially engaged lifestyle in leisure time might protect older adults against the decline of cognitive function. It remains unclear, however, which types of leisure activities are more beneficial to maintain cognitive function, and whether there are gender differences in the association between leisure activities and cognitive function. We used a two-wave of panel data from 1,018 older adults aged 60 and older in rural China to examine the lag effects of different types of leisure activities on cognitive functioning and to identify the gender differences in their impacts on cognition in rural China. Ordinary least-squares regression models showed that high physical activities were associated with better cognitive function. High intensity of cognitive activities and engaging in physical activities have a protective effect on cognitive function among older men rather than older women. Further, we found that cognitive activities had a stronger effect on cognitive function among older men than older women. It is important to consider gender-specific intervention in leisure activities to maintain cognitive function among older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2533-2555
Number of pages23
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 18 2022


  • China
  • cognitive function
  • gender difference
  • leisure activity
  • time-use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Gendered leisure time-use and its impact on cognitive function among older adults in rural China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this