Finally you have a great excuse to hit the shopping mall. In a Taiwanese study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers have concluded that shopping can help you to live longer if you shop more than once a week compared to people who rarely go shopping.
The research, which was undertaken by the Institute of Population Health Services in Taiwan, involved 1,850 adults over the age of 65, who lived independently at home. During 1999 and 2000 the participants in the study completed a questionnaire that asked them about their shopping habits.
The participants were tracked until the end of 2008 to see which of them died during this period and whether there was any relationship between their shopping habits and life expectancy.
What Did the Study Show?
The results of the study were adjusted to take into account certain factors such as age, physical disability, and cognitive decline in the participants. Once these factors were taken into account, the conclusion was that people who went shopping more than once a week were 27% less likely to have died during this period than those that only shopped once per week or less. The biggest difference was seen in men.
How Can Shopping Prolong Life?
Initially it may sound ridiculous that going shopping can help you live longer, but actually the reasons for the trend are very simple:
- Shopping is a physical activity that helps to maintain fitness levels
- Shopping requires mental agility helping to keep the brain working
- Shopping is a social activity involving positive interaction with other people
- Shopping can be a pleasurable activity which benefits psychological health
- Shopping daily provides the opportunity to buy and eat fresh foods such as fruit and vegetables
Dr Yu-Hung Chang who led the study, suggested that shopping is easier to take part in than many other activities that are recommended to maintain physical and mental health. He believes that, “shopping is often for pleasure with the potential to increase psychological wellbeing. Compared to other types of leisure-time physical activity, like formal exercise, which usually requires motivation and sometimes professional instruction, shopping activity is easier to undertake and maintain.”
Retain Physical and Mental Fitness as You Age
It’s a well known fact that being physically active, eating a nutritious diet, and maintaining a healthy weight is vital to avoiding heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and some cancers. Incorporating certain activities into your daily routine as you get older can help you to maintain both your physical and your mental fitness.
The key to finding an activity that you have the motivation to maintain is looking for something that you really enjoy. Whether you like cycling, walking, dancing, golf or swimming, look for a club or group within your favorite activity to provide social interaction as well as physical exercise.
These types of exercise can increase confidence and slow down the onset of dementia, as well as increasing physical fitness. They can improve balance and coordination and increase strength, reducing the risk of injury from falls.
As you get older it’s easy to believe that you are no longer capable of doing the things you did when you were young. It may be tempting to stay at home and take advantage of modern conveniences such as online shopping and social networking. However, going out and getting involved in physical and social activities can help to promote physical and mental health, increasing life expectancy and helping you to maintain your independence.