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Retail Therapy

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Here’s good news if you feel a little guilty about shopping. There’s new scientific evidence showing that retail therapy works, and a shopping trip-a-day may help keep the doctor away.

Researchers in Taiwan found that elderly people who go shopping daily live longer than those who don’t.

And, interestingly, shopping seemed to benefit men more than women, according to the study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Frequent shopping means more walking — and that can improve heart health as well as balance and coordination. The researchers also say it fosters companionship and helps older people feel included in their community – not to mention that the result of frequent shopping trips is usually healthier food.

The study followed 2000 people over 65 for 9 years. Daily shoppers were 27 percent less likely to die than the shop-a-phobics, even after adjusting for physical and mental impairment. Men who shopped once a day were 28 percent less likely to die and women 23 percent less likely than those who seldom ventured out to stores.

The findings reinforce the concept of “active aging,” which indicates that higher levels of physical activity, economic activity and social and cultural engagement help with healthy aging.

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