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Social networks can boost health in elderly

Having regular positive interactions with family and friends and being involved in several different social networks can help older adults be healthier

Warm Home, Israel, by Eli SteinWashington: Are you in your 60s? Involve in social networking to stay healthy!

Having regular positive interactions with family and friends and being involved in several different social networks can help older adults be healthier, according to new study.

“Close connections with others are likely to promote but can also sometimes detract from good health by shaping daily behavior that directly affects physical health,” said Lynn M Martire, from The Pennsylvania State University.

Diverse social roles and physical activity can be beneficial but negative social interactions present health risks, researchers said.

“In some cases, the behavior may have to do with physical activity and in others, it might be related to diet or managing a chronic disease, such as diabetes,” Martire added.

The influence of social relationships on mortality risk is comparable to that of smoking and alcohol consumption, according to previous research.

Many questions remain, however, such as how social networks come about and the nature of the relationships, researchers said.

The study was published in the American Psychological Association’s journal Health Psychology.

PTI

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