September 29, 2023

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Enjoying a hobby creates happiness and reduces depression in older adults

Enjoying a hobby creates happiness and reduces depression in older adults
Applying a playful aspect to new interests creates well-being (

(HealthDay News) — Older adults Grab those knitting needles, some paints, or a favorite novel, because there are new discoveries Entertainment Related to this Less stress In the elderly.

Hobbies can include anything Games, arts and crafts, volunteering, reading or being part of a clubAccording to the study, it spanned several countries and involved more than 93,000 people aged 65 and older.

“Our study shows the potential of recreation to protect older adults from deterioration in their mental health and general well-being. “This possibility is consistent across many countries and cultural contexts,” said lead author Karen Mack of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care. University College London. Data comes from registrants Five courses USA, Japan, China, UK and 12 other European countries.

Researchers analyzed four to eight years of data and found that having a hobby reduced depression symptoms and increased happiness and life satisfaction. Although this observational study cannot prove cause and effect, it is suggestive There may be a connection between entertainment and happiness. The results held even after adjusting for other factors such as marital status, employment and household income.

According to the World Health Organization, 5 percent of adults suffer from depression, and the condition places a significant burden on public health worldwide (Getty Images)

“Of the four outcomes, life satisfaction is most strongly linked to participation in hobbies. Hobbies can contribute to life satisfaction later in life through a number of mechanisms, including taking control of our minds and bodies, finding purpose in life, and feeling competent when solving everyday problems,” Mack said in a university press release. published in the press Natural Medicine.

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“Theoretical work suggests that the relationship between hobbies and well-being may be bidirectional: people with better mental health are more likely to pursue a hobby, and pursuing a hobby can help maintain better life satisfaction,” he added.

The proportion of people reporting having a hobby varies significantly between countries, with only 51% of survey participants in Spain claiming to have a hobby.

Experts highlight importance of social connection in reducing risk of depression and mental well-being (Getty Images)

It was 96% in Denmark, 95.8% in Sweden and 94.4% in Switzerland. China has the lowest level of entertainment at 37.6% of the population. However, the researchers cautioned that respondents in China were only asked about social hobbies, not hobbies in general.

Countries with better life expectancy and higher levels of national happiness reported more people having leisure. The relationship between well-being and recreation was also strong in those countries.

“Our research supports policy makers promoting access to recreation among older adults as a way to improve their well-being and health,” Mack said.

More information The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information about community involvement in later life.

Source: University College London, press release, September 11, 2023.

* By Cara Mures. Health Day Correspondents. Healthday English