- Hobbies Contribute to Senior Well-Being
- Smoking Linked to Hospitalization for Depression
- Lifestyle Factors for Preventing Depression in Research
Joining a book society or taking up gardening could contribute to a senior’s well-being.
Hobbies make adults over 65 healthier, happier, and more happy with life, and reduce depression symptoms.
According to researchers, a hobby may provide happiness and a sense of purpose in life, while improving a skill may make some elderly people feel more empowered in general.
You can like reading, crossword puzzles, volunteering, or joining a social club as a hobby.
The findings are based on an examination of 93,263 individuals aged over 65 who participated in national surveys in 13 European nations, the United States, China, and Japan.
Almost several years, almost 4,000 English people were queried about their health and hobbies for the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.
78% of people had a hobby, and they were more likely to report feeling happy the day before, to have a higher level of life satisfaction, and to consider their health to be outstanding.
Hobbyists reported greater health than non-hobbyists, even after accounting for their actual illnesses, indicating that hobbyists felt generally healthier, even when they were ill.
In a brief questionnaire that asked about feelings of loneliness, sorrow, and hopelessness, people with a hobby displayed fewer symptoms of depression.
The English survey did not inquire about respondents’ interests.
However, the global study asked about reading, chess, word and number puzzles, gardening, sports and social clubs, and volunteering.
Both retired and working individuals, who may benefit from a stress-relieving hobby, tended to have greater health, happiness, and life satisfaction, as well as fewer depressive symptoms if they reported these hobbies internationally.
This was true even after accounting for other factors that could affect life satisfaction, such as financial situation and employment.
Happier individuals may be more likely to have interests than vice versa.
Statisticians found that having a pastime first was linked to increased contentment in subsequent polls.
University College London’s Dr. Karen Mak, who led the study published in Nature Medicine, said: ‘Doctors sometimes do social prescribing, where they recommend people try activities such as dancing, painting, crafts, or spending time in nature to improve health and well-being, and this research on hobbies suggests that may be beneficial for some people.
People may feel more in control of their daily lives and have a greater sense of purpose if they engage in a hobby and improve with practice.
A separate study found that smoking increases the chance of depressive hospitalisation.
Researchers examined 337,140 British participants in the UK Biobank study, comparing current smokers with those who had never smoked.
Smokers had 8.5% depression hospitalisations, compared to 3.5% for nonsmokers.
Women who never smoked experienced 5.9% depression hospitalisations, but 13.2% of current smokers did.
The authors observe that smoking typically began before the age of 20, whereas hospitalization for depression did not occur until between the ages of 30 and 60.
Professor Doug Speed, principal author of the study published in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, from Aarhus University in Denmark, stated, “Smoking typically precedes mental illness by a considerable amount of time.”
We don’t know why, but it’s possible that smoking causes inflammation in the brain, or that nicotine inhibits the absorption of the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin, which leads to mental disorders such as depression over time.
Regardless of a person’s genetic risk, a healthful lifestyle is crucial for preventing depression, according to another study.
A good night’s sleep of seven to nine hours lowered depression risk by 22% in a UK Biobank study of approximately 290,000.
According to a research team comprised of the University of Cambridge and Fudan University in China, frequent social connections. Such as seeing friends and family frequently, were associated with an 18% lower risk.
Non-drinking or moderate alcohol consumption reduced depression risk by 11%. While a healthful diet and regular physical activity reduced the risk by 6% and 14%, respectively.
The University of Cambridge’s Professor Barbara Sahakian, co-author of the study published in the journal Nature Mental Health, said: ‘Although our DNA – the genetic hand we’ve been dealt – can increase our risk of melancholy, we’ve demonstrated that a healthy lifestyle is potentially more important.
Some of these lifestyle factors are within our control, so finding methods to improve them – getting a good night’s sleep and spending time with friends, for example – could make a significant difference in people’s lives.