NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Shopping daily may hurt your bank account, but it could be great for your health, one new study suggests.
Elderly men and women who shopped every day were 27% more likely to live longer than those who shopped rarely, if ever, according to a Taiwanese study published this month in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Researchers analyzed data from nearly 2,000 Taiwanese consumers 65 and older between 1999 and 2008 that included demographic information, health behaviors and shopping frequency. The team then paired this information with death records from those in the group to determine if there was any correlation between shopping habits and mortality rates.
Sure enough, the results showed that those who shopped regularly experienced physical and cognitive health benefits – from the physical exercise of going to the store more frequently combined with the opportunity to interact more with other customers and salespeople, all of which seemed to reduce the risk of mortality for these shoppers.
Other studies have found equally positive health benefits from shopping. Spending on products that mean something to you can boost your happiness, while surveys have shown that for many, shopping can be a source of comfort in tough times.
But as some publications have pointed out, the results of this most recent study may be suspect. In reality, it may not be that consumers are healthier because they shop, but rather that they shop more because they are healthier to begin with, and have the mental and physical ability to do so.