Study: Shopping can improve senior health


April 20, 2011

It may not seem to be the most scientific approach, but new research suggests that grabbing a shopping bag and heading to the mall may actually make a significant difference in a senior citizen's health, according to HealthDay News.

Taiwanese researchers found that older adults who regularly go on shopping adventures live longer than their counterparts. They speculate that this may be due to the increased amount of physical activity associated with the trip.

"Shopping provides an enjoyable activity and helps older adults feel included in their community," researcher Kelly Horton said, the news source reports. "In addition to physical activity, frequent shopping among older adults has also been related to improved nutrition intake."

Two-thirds of the 2,000 seniors involved in the survey were under 75 and two-thirds had at least two chronic health conditions.

Those who are looking to age safely and independently may want to consider investing in a medical alarm system as well. This device can be used to instantly send a medical alert to call centers in the case of an unexpected injury.

Experts suggest that older adults who walk more than others may be less prone to a fall at home than sedentary seniors. These injuries are common in the United States – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one in three adults over the age of 65 falls each year.