Bingo to the old age! Yes, playing the popular card game and having an active social life in old age can help stave off disability and even death, a new study says.
Researchers have carried out the study and found that playing bingo and attending church regularly and even joining social organisations in the old age can significantly reduce one's chances of becoming disabled -- by almost two-thirds.
Even just chatting regularly with friends can slow down the rate of decline in motor function which comes as people grow older, the study found.
Dr Aron S Buchman of Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago who led the study, was quoted by leading British newspaper The Daily Telegraph as saying: "Decline in motor function is a familiar consequence of ageing.
"These data raise the possibility that social engagement can slow motor function decline and possibly delay adverse health outcomes from such decline. Further work is needed to ensure that this is a causal relationship."
In the study, the researchers looked at the decline in motor function of more than 96 elderly patients over a period of almost five years.
The findings, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine journal, have shown that staying active reduced the risk of developing a disability by 65 per cent and of death by 40 per cent.
The health benefits of an active social life remained even if elderly people had other serious medical conditions, the study also found.
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