A new study from the UK and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal claims that people who enjoy life will have better physical function and faster walking speeds than their more pessimistic counterparts.
We already know there are health benefits associated with a positive outlook on life. A study from 2013 suggested people who have happy marriages also enjoy better physical health than couples in stressful marriages.
In 2012, Medical News Today reported on a study by researchers at University College London (UCL) in the UK, which found seniors who enjoy life more tend to live longer.
As part of a follow-up study testing the link between happiness and physical performance, the UCL researchers have assessed the enjoyment of life of 3,199 participants aged 60 years or older.
Enjoying life makes your body work better?
The participants in the study were asked to rate on a four-point scale how much they subscribed to the following statements: “I enjoy the things that I do,” “I enjoy being in the company of others,” “On balance, I look back on my life with a sense of happiness” and “I feel full of energy these days.”
The study found that seniors who enjoy life had better physical function than unhappy people.
Interviewing the people in the study, the researchers then assessed to what extent they had difficulty performing daily activities, such as bathing or getting dressed. They also measured the walking speed of the participants.
The study found that people who had a low sense of well-being were more than three times as likely to experience problems in performing daily activities.
“Our results provide further evidence that enjoyment of life is relevant to the future disability and mobility of older people,” says Dr. Steptoe, co-author of the study.
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