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Want to be happier and live longer? Get socially active.

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by , 04-02-2016 at 05:19 AM (848 Views)
New studies suggest that being socially active is good for your health.

wo recent studies, one in the journal Psychology and Aging and another in the British Medical Journal, reaffirm the importance of remaining socially engaged in late life.

The first study found that being socially active and having social goals was associated with improved well-being in later life. Moreover, the researchers found that social ties were more important than family ties in that regard.

“Our results indicate that living a socially active life and prioritizing social goals are associated with higher late-life satisfaction and less severe declines toward the end of life,” said study lead author Denis Gerstorf, PhD, of Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

What does a socially engaged lifestyle entail? According to the researchers, it involves a combination of cognitive stimulation and physical activities (often associated with social interaction).

The second study in BMJ Open followed retirees for a period of six years to see how involvement in social groups affected their quality of life and mortality over a period of six years. The representative sample included more than 400 older adults in England who were making the transition from work to retirement.

In this study, these social groups included leisure groups (e.g. book clubs); family, friendship or community groups; sporting groups (e.g., tennis clubs), work groups (e.g., sales teams), professional groups (e.g., trade unions) or any other groups “that a person sees as an important part of who they are.”

Retirees with two group memberships (for example, involvement in a book club and a religious group) prior to retirement had a 2% risk of death in the first 6 years of retirement (provided they maintained membership in both groups.) Their risk increased to 5% if they only remained in one, and a 12% risk if they were no longer involved in either group.

The study team led by Niklas K Steffens of the University of Brisbane, Australia concludes: “The effect of social group memberships on mortality was comparable to that of physical exercise.”

Both studies are correlational and don’t prove causation but they certainly offer food for thought in addition to new directions for future research.


Source: http://www.thefriendshipblog.com/wan...cially-active/

Comments

  1. reminok's Avatar
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