An important form of leisure at the time of the Roman empire was involvement in public baths, which were part of any Romans daily routine. Nearly everyone could attend the thermae, or public baths; men, women, and children. The public baths were to the Romans what modern day fitness clubs and community centres are to us. The most well preserved baths of ancient Rome are the baths of Diocletian which cover 32 acres and Caracalla which cover 27 acres.Towards the centre of the Roman baths, near the dressing room, the tepidarium, a large, vaulted and mildly heated hall could be found. The tepidarium could be found surrounded on one side by the frigidarium, a large, chilled swimming pool about 200 feet by 100 feet, and on the other side by the calidarium, an area for hot bathing heated by subterranean steam.Hot air baths and steam baths date back in Italy to the 3rd century BC with the original public baths being smaller and hand activated. With the invention of hypocaust heating being allowed for the creation of hold and cold rooms and plunge baths in the 1st century BC, bathing quickly became a communal activity. Through time, emperors later built gradually greater baths, and the public baths became an Ancient Roman tradition and enjoyable leisure activity.Along with the public baths being used for leisure they quickly became used for social gatherings with portico shops, marketing everything from food, to ointments, to clothing being established in conjunction to the baths. In addition, there were also sheltered gardens, gymnasiums, rooms for massage, libraries, and museums all ornamented aristocratically with marble statues and other artistic masterpieces.By the 1st century BC, magistrates used private gladiatorial games to gain support in elections. Great amounts of money were spent on the games, with admission being free. In the 4th century BC enforcements were put on gladiatorial games with them ending in the east at the end of the 4th century BC and in the west in the 5th century BC. The wild beast combats ended in the 6th century BC and chariot racing stopped in the late Roman empire of the west, but still continued in the east.With the die down of gladiatorial contests, wild beast battles and soon chariot racing, the wealthy found entertainment and leisure at home as they hosted lavish dinner parties and banquets. At these dinner parties the wealthy were kept entertained with music and dancing by professionals, and recitations of written work.The poor however entertained themselves by eating and drinking out at taverns, ranging from brothels to gaming houses and such. Gaming was a popular pastime loved by all of the Romans and often included games such as dice, knucklebones, and gaming counters. The wealthy also found hunting and fishing to be a leisurely sport, but for the poorer these activities were often considered a necessity.In summation, we gather that the Ancient Romans were quite violent and blood thirsty as they engaged in viewing gladiatorial battles, combats of wild beasts, and mock naval battles. However, the Ancient Romans did enjoy non-violent approaches to entertainment such as viewing theatre and chariot racing. The forms of leisure in Ancient Rome suggest the people of the Roman empire were very sociable as they would often gather at public baths, of dinner parties for the wealthy and taverns for the poor. Share this:FacebookFacebook logoTwitterTwitter logoRedditReddit logoLinkedInLinkedIn logoWhatsAppWhatsApp logo Cite This WorkTo export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:
Walking was the most frequent leisure activity, followed by being visited by friends or relatives, gardening, playing cards, reading, and attending group exercise. Men engaged more in mental activities, while men and women had similar participation in social and physical activities (Table 3).
As expected, mental, physical, and social activities affected specific cognitive domains differently in ANCOVA models adjusting for covariates (Table 4). Participants in the high mental activity group had significantly less decline in global cognition (p < .01), language (p < .05), and executive function (p < .05) compared with those in the low activity group. For example, participants with mental activity scores greater or equal than seven times per week were associated with .23 standard deviation (SD) and less decline in global function compared with those with low level of the activity.
Participants in the high physical activity group had significantly less decline in episodic memory (p < .05) and language (p < .01). High levels of social activity were related to significantly less decline in global cognition (p < .01). In addition, the observed associations of mental and physical activities with cognitive decline were similar in women and in men. There are no significant gender and activity level interactions (p > .05 for all three activities). However, the estimated effect of social activities on global cognitive decline was attenuated in men (Table 4).
Baseline and predicted follow-up global cognitive function by leisure activity index for the total population (upper graph) and by male and female (lower graph) adjusting for age, education, stroke, BMI, APOE ε4, and baseline CSID score.
There are a number of proposed hypotheses about the mechanism through which leisure activities impact cognition. Cognitive reserve is the most relevant hypothesis that proposes that life experience may influence neural processing and synaptic organization by permitting neurological processes to become more efficient, adaptive, and plastic, thus allowing some people to cope with progressing dementia pathology better than others (33). Although environments that involve diverse cognitive stimuli may be the most conducive in increasing cognitive reserve, physiological benefits of physical activity have been related to changes in hormone levels, improved cerebral blood flow, and an increased number of neuronal synapses. Social activities may offer a stimulating social environment that involves not only navigating social cues, dealing with complex and challenging social issues, but also physical movement and information processing that in turn enhance cognitive reserve.
Our observation that different types of activities protected against cognitive decline on different domains is in agreement with most previous studies. Mental activity has been related to enhanced memory, executive function, language, and cognitive skill (41), and less decline in perceptual speed (22). Physical activity has been related to less decline on memory (42), cognition, and attention (2). Studies on social activity in relation to different cognitive domains are still scarce. A previous study reported that no activity types including social activity affected any of the cognitive domains (18). However, another study reported that engaging in a broad range of everyday activities, including physical, mental, and social activities, accounted for a notable amount of the variance in change scores for various domains of cognition (21).
Previously, a dose-response association between levels of physical activity and cognitive impairment was reported (10), but no study has examined the dose-response influence of the combination of different types of leisure activities on cognition. Indeed, the finding of the current study is in line with previous findings that the broader spectrum of leisure activities was associated with stronger protection on the risk of dementia (6).
The first limitation of the current study is the relatively short follow-up time. Although we excluded persons with a baseline global cognitive score in bottom 10% and those with impaired physical function, and controlled for baseline cognition in all the analyses, it is possible that persons with subclinical cognitive impairment may still remain in the study population, we could not rule out the possible reverse causation. However, our results were supported by previous studies with longer follow-up (24,45). Second, leisure activities were collected at enrollment and no information was available on previous activities, and therefore cumulative effects of lifetime activities could not be examined. Third, while a number of confounders were controlled for, latent and unmeasured differences might have contributed to the associations of mental, physical, and social activities with cognitive decline. Fourth, it is uncertain whether there is a biological variance based on the observed change scores in cognitive performance. Moreover, although the categorization of activities was mutually exclusive, the components in each of the activity categories were not necessarily exclusive. For example, social activities may simultaneously include also mental and physical components. This uncertainty may also influence our results of the specific type of activities in relation to different cognitive domains. Finally, this rural elderly Chinese cohort had lower levels of literacy, higher rates of smoking, but lower rates of medical conditions than studies conducted in European or American populations, which may limit the generalizability of the results to other populations.
The current study provided evidence on the limited knowledge concerning the effect of different types of activities on specific cognitive domains. It is one of the few longitudinal population-based studies on the topic carried out in Asia, and our results are comparable with studies carried out in Western countries.
Healthy screen time for teenagers is about choosing quality programs and apps and developing healthy screen habits. It also includes limits on screen time. Some negotiation about screen time during the school week, on weekends and in the holidays might help your child balance screen time with other activities.
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