A recent study has suggested that getting out of the house regularly, can contribute to longevity. Study participants, all between the ages of 70 – 90, recorded how often they were leaving their homes. Researchers had suggested that by this behavior alone, could help calculate if the participants were going to make it to the next age milestone.
A simple act of getting out of the house, can help people propel into social engagement in the world, suggested by Dr. Jeremy Jacobs of Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem. Dr. Jacobs also noted that he has seen similar benefits, when using the same study, of engagement when treating blood pressure or cholesterol with medication.
When Dr. Jacobs conducted the study, he asked participants how often they left the house. The categories were grouped into three: frequently (6-7 days per week), often (two to five times per week), or rarely (once a week or less). His findings were that people who left the house in the “frequent” category, were more likely to live to their next age milestone, compared to participants who didn’t.
For example, if someone was 78 years old and left the house frequently, there was a 71% chance that they were likely to survived to the age of 85. At the same age of 78 and left the house rarely, only 43% of that group would survive to be 85 years old.
For someone who was 90 years old and left the house frequently, there was a 64% chance that they would reach the age of 95. If 90 year olds rarely left the house, only 38% of them would reach age 95.
The study also concluded that most of the study participants who stayed home were mostly male, less educated and also suffered with loneliness, depression and financial difficulties. Poor health was also a contributing factor in this factor as well. The study also conducted research on those with mobility issues, and saw an up rise in age if they left the house frequently. They concluded that it’s not just about standing up and doing exercises – it’s about getting out of the house and having social engagement.
Dr. Jacobs and his team are excited about continuing their study to see if the 95 years olds would continue on to reach 100, just by social engagement and getting outside. Studies have also shown that neighborhoods in adult senior communities that had benches and easy-to-walk sidewalks, encourage people to get outdoors and be social.
Medical teams and researchers are taking this study and seeing how they can apply it to help the longevity of older adults. With the results and data, they are able to help create and develop systems that can be useful in different communities.
With all the frequent and not-so-frequent seniors coming in and out of their homes, one thing is for sure: getting out of the house is an important way to maintain mobility, social engagement and now longevity.
(Daily Sabah, 2017)
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