Can Shopping Prolong Your Life?

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Can Shopping Prolong Your Life? featured image

We know that you don’t need an excuse to go shopping, but as far as excuses go, this one has to top the list. It might make you live longer. New research suggests that regular retail therapy seems to have a connection with longer life. Surprisingly, the findings show that older men seem to benefit the most.

Research was conducted on almost 1,850 elderly Taiwanese people over a series of years. Participants were asked how often they went shopping in addition to other questions about their intellectual and physical capacities. Researchers tracked how long the participants lived by linking them to national death registration data.

The study took other factors into consideration but still found that those who shopped daily lived longer than those shopping less frequently. Daily shoppers were 27 percent less likely to die, with male daily shoppers 28 percent less likely to die, compared with female shoppers who were 23 percent less likely to die.

The authors of the study note that shopping itself may promote good health by ensuring a good supply of food for maintaining a healthy diet, for instance. Additionally, shopping among the elderly may not always be about making purchases but rather about seeking companionship and being active in a way that requires less motivation than scheduled exercise. Traditionally, we view physical activity as promoting health but later in life it is just as important to engage in social and economic activities for better health. According to the researchers, shopping captures many dimensions of personal wellbeing, health, and security while simultaneously contributing to the community’s cohesiveness and economy, and may actually increase longevity. So next time you’re feeling guilty about your credit card bill, remember shopping is good for you!

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