As a joggling blogger and scientist, I spend a lot of time looking through internet links and scientific papers. Here’s one about some real science looking at the benefits of juggling in older individuals. It was published in the journal Age and Ageing.
It’s interesting. They took a group of 278 older adults (ages 60-89) and taught them how to juggle. First they taught them with scarves and then with balls. The juggling program they taught is referenced in the paper but not much detail is given. If you want to learn to juggle, I recommend looking at these top 25 Resources for Learning to Juggle.
Incidentally, I’ve never found the scarf method terribly helpful.
Then they compared their progress after the initial practice session and then 6 days later with different groups of younger individuals.
It turns out that older adults are able to learn to juggle.
Apparently, you can teach an old dog new tricks.
It also turns out that older adults learn just as well and quickly as older children (ages 10-14 years) and adults (ages 30-59 years). However, they were not as good at learning as youth and younger adults (ages 15-29 years). I guess you do lose some skills as you age.
I was first made aware of this article when it was referenced in an issue of the IJA Newsletter. This is a great organization and if you are looking for something to join, I highly recommend it. I am a card carrying member. Click here for your application to the International Jugglers Association. For your membership fee, you get the monthly newsletter, a subscription to Juggle magazine, and an instructional and entertaining juggling DVD.
Go join the IJA now.