Shopping can help you live longerA new study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that older people could live longer if they shopped more often. The study of almost 1,850 people in Taiwan showed a marked increase in longevity among those who hit the stores on a daily basis.

The population, all 65 or older, were living independently at the start of the study in 1999-2000. The researchers then tracked their mortality.

Of those surveyed, 48% never, or almost never, shopped during the week. 13% shopped once a week, 22% went shopping up to four times a week, and 17% shopped every day.54% of the study were men, who were mostly financially self-sufficient. However, many were smokers and drinkers, albeit in good mental health, exercising regularly, and with an active social network.

The study found that those who shopped daily were 27% less likely to die; for men, the figure was 28%, for women 23%.

The authors of the study did concede that shopping and good health could simply go together in the first place. After all, the act of shopping, especially if one has to walk to the store, is not a habit that someone already in poor health is likely to acquire.

They did, however, suggest that the act of shopping could contribute to longer life by providing exercise, a steady supply of good, fresh food, and companionship. "The conventional view of health promotion focuses on physical activity, but engaging in social and economic activities later in life may also contribute to better health", according to the researchers.

So the next time someone criticizes you for frequent shopping, ignore them, confident in the knowledge that your addiction will help you live long enough to dance at their funeral.

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Mary Ann

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