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Did You Know?: Being Sociable Slows Aging

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Air date: July 12, 2009


Did You know?
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Wishard Health Services

Did you Know? is presented by Wishard Health Services, becoming Eskenazi Health in 2014.

I'm Jeremy Shere.

Did you know that being social could help older people slow the effects of aging?

According to a new study, having an active social life can help slow the decline of motor function in the elderly. The study followed more than 900 elderly adults for five years. And the researchers found that those who kept to themselves and were less social had a 33% faster rate of motor function decline compared to more socially active older adults.

This is important because motor function decline involves things like less muscle strength and poor coordination -- which can cause sometimes deadly falls.

Now, it's not clear that being more social necessarily translates to fewer problems with motor function in old age. There needs to be more research to strengthen that claim. But the study's results at the very least strongly suggest that an active social life in one important part of living well in old age.

And now you know.