As aging baby boomers look to keep on working, producers of `brain fitness' software—aimed at improving memory and keeping the mind sharp—see an opportunity to pitch their products to employers. Software tools to keep the brain fit are headed to the workplace. The products have been making a splash in the consumer market in recent years as older Americans wrestle with memory loss and other cognitive declines. And now vendors of "brain fitness" software are beginning to see employers as another fertile market, especially given the desire of baby boomers to stay in the workforce for years to come. A host of challenges face this nascent industry. They include doubts about the effectiveness of the software, concerns that exercises in front of a computer will bore people, and the prospect that employees in their 40s, 50s and 60s will feel stigmatized signing up for what could be considered brain rehab. But advocates are confident the burgeoning field of brain health is far more than a fad, and companies are likely to see significant benefits in areas such as productivity and retention through the use of the new software tools.
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