Can Shopping Lengthen Your Life?

Shopping could help you live longer.

By Reader's Digest Editors

Shopoholics have a new excuse: Daily shopping could add years to your life—at least if you’re over 65, suggest Taiwanese researchers.

Their study of nearly 2,000 elderly men and women who still lived in their own homes found that regular shoppers lived longer than those who shopped just once a week or less, even after adjusting for physical limitations and cognitive decline.

And despite the stereotypical male aversion to shopping, they may benefit even more than women. Men who headed for the shops every day reduced their chances of dying by 28 percent, compared to women, who cut their chances by 23 percent.

Shopping may prolong lifespans because it gives people the opportunity to interact socially and to exercise. Buying fresh food daily may also mean a more healthful diet.

“Shopping requires that you physically move from one place to another, be able to handle money, make decisions, etc. All of those characteristics…are linked to health,” said S. Jay Olshansky, professor of public health and a senior research scientist with the Center on Aging at the University of Illinois.

The researchers at the National Health Research Institutes in Zhunan, Taiwan add that shopping is often done for pleasure, which increases psychological well-being. And “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.”

Source: BBC, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, athomemagazine.co.uk, oregonwomen’s report, CBC.com

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