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Seniors who Enjoy Life Live Longer

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Seniors who Enjoy Life Live Longer

A UK-based study has found that loving life is linked to a longer lifespan amongst seniors.

A new report, part of the University College London’s English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), has found that seniors who enjoy life actually live longer.

The project follows more than 10,000 seniors and checks in with them about a variety of factors in several “waves” over the years. According to the study, “Those who were recorded as having a greater enjoyment of life in wave one were more likely to still be alive nine to 10 years later than were other participants.”

More results of the study include:

  • wealthier seniors are less likely to be socially isolated, leading the study authors to recommend public health interventions that target and support less wealthy seniors
  • one in six people in England over the age of 50 are socially isolated
  • measures of psychological well-being taken in a previous wave could be used to predict who would be likely to suffer poor health in the future
  • social isolation was less frequent for members of couples
  • groups that are less likely to remain in contact with people include men, those living in rural areas, and those living by themselves

Although this study is UK-based, the results are also relevant to us in North America. alive’s new article “Social Ties” discusses the importance of friendships and relationships as we age, and includes tips for becoming involved in the community. Be sure to pick up your copy of the October issue of alive for more articles about healthy aging.

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