Want the secret to living a longer, happier life? Well, join the club

New research shows that those who stay socially connected will live a longer life.

New research suggests that the more social groups to which retirees belong, the more likely they are to live an extended life in retirement. So, is it time you joined the club?

Scientists in the UK have tracked 424 English men and women through their first six years in retirement. They found that maintaining social links in their later years may actually contribute more to a longer life than exercising.

The study found that there was a six-fold difference in the mortality rates between those who maintained memberships in social groups from before they stopped working, and those who no longer attended.

Other studies have shown that retirees usually experience a 25 per cent drop in health not long after retiring. The social isolation many experience after giving up work can lead to depression, anxiety, dementia and general cognitive decline.

The authors of this particular study found that 6.6 per cent of retirees died within six years of retiring. However, those who maintained membership in at least two social groups only had a two per cent risk of death; those who maintained one membership had a five per cent risk, and those who ceased all group activity had a 12 per cent risk of early death.

The study goes to show that to live a long, happy life, it’s just as important for older people to stay connected socially as it is to create wealth and maintain physical fitness.

“It’s yet more evidence that having a sense of purpose and taking part in meaningful activity can make a really positive difference to health and wellbeing in later life,” said Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, which is an advice and support charity program for older people in the UK. “As the population ages and family structures change, combating loneliness is increasingly going to become a pressing public policy issue, and it’s important that much more is done to tackle this issue.”

So, good news for those who don’t like to run, walk or ride a bike – at least you can join a club and live a longer life!

Read the full study at www.bmjopen.bmj.com
Read more at The Daily Mail



    To make a comment, please register or login
    19th Feb 2016
    Agree with most of this. Sounds about right.

    "The authors of this particular study found that 6.6 per cent of retirees died within six years of retiring." - maybe need to put this statement into perspective as depends on age at retirement and general health. We all know that people > 60 start to develop health problems. Given that our resident would be dictator Tony Abbott raised the retirement age to 70 expect a lot more than 6.6% to drop dead in the future after they retire. Obvious dear Watson!

    19th Feb 2016
    People give people someone to live for - simple!
    19th Feb 2016
    Other research I have read says social isolation is as bad for the health as being a smoker. It is important for retirees to stay active: mentally, physically and socially. I highly recommend the University of the Third Age educational movement. Find your local U3A and check out their course offerings. You will find other people who share your interests and it is really cheap because members teach members.
    19th Feb 2016
    Not for me. I have learnt that to keep my sanity, I need to stay right away from "old" people.

    They just drive me mad with their old fashioned ways, stick-in-the-mud attitudes, and dogmatic and irrational beliefs, mostly based on rubbish they read in Murdoch newspapers, or see on tripe TV like Current Affair.

    I live in 2015, whereas some of my friends and acquaintances live in 1965. I can't have a conversation with them as they have no idea what I am talking about, and I get so frustrated with them.

    Worst of all, they just keep repeating the same stuff over and over again. Yet, I have a 91 year old neighbour who I chat to once or twice a week, and she has never told me the same thing twice!

    Fortunately I have younger friends, and spending time with them is so much more rewarding for me as they talk about things I am interested in, and I learn so much more from them.

    I may be retired, but I am not brain dead yet.
    19th Feb 2016
    It's 2016, John. It sounds like you have started your trip down the same path as your "old" friends.
    19th Feb 2016
    Typing too quickly as partner was putting dinner on the table!

    I did mean 2016!
    19th Feb 2016
    Enjoy your dinner, and weekend.
    22nd Feb 2016
    What a load of complete and utter NONSENSE.... seems scientists in the UK are 'barking mad' ha ha ha
    1st Feb 2018
    Agreed MICK ... Another thing important is to constantly keep your mind busy thinking in projects you can do build a new place build a table ???? weld some metal etc etc . that will no only keep you busy but exercise your mind ....

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