Stick With Your Friends and Keep Busy

by Nechama Drillick

You’ve been given fair warning – the more socially active you are, the slower you’ll age. Research data in the June 22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine reveal a direct connection between social activity and physical function.

The study focused on a group of 906 adults who averaged age 66.5 and were free of stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia at the onset.

Everyone’s activity level was scored on a range from 1 to 4.17, with a mean baseline of 2.6.

Participants who volunteered, played bingo, ate out with friends, attended church and partook of other activities with greater frequency had a slower decline in motor function than those who were more socially withdrawn.

“For each point below the mean social activity score at baseline, the average rate or decline in global motor function was 33% more rapid,” they wrote. “In terms of declining motor function, a 1-point decrease on the social activity scale was equivalent to being five years older at baseline.”

And that age difference of five years translated into a 40% increase in the risk of death and more than a 65% increase in the development of a disability.

There you have it. There are significant benefits to being a social butterfly as opposed to a wallflower. Staying socially fit is an essential part of staying young.

23. June 2009 by Ruth Folger Weiss
Categories: Aging, Health Care, Medical News, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment