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Researchers may have discovered the secret to aging gracefully

Ross Cronkrite | Science Recorder | January 21, 2014

Researchers may have discovered the secret to aging gracefully

The researchers note that even when better health, age and material wealth are taken into consideration, the relationship between happiness and aging gracefully still persists.

According to a news release from the University College London, happiness may be the secret to aging gracefully. Older people who are happy maintain better physical function and faster walking speeds as they age, compared with people who are unhappy. Researchers looked at 3,199 men and women aged 60 years or older in England over an eight-year period to investigate the link between happiness and physical well-being.

After being separated into three age groups: 60-69 years old, 70-79 and 80 plus, participants were then asked to respond to statements, such as “I enjoy the things that I do,” on a 4-point scale. The researchers then determined walking speed with a gait test and performed personal interviews to assess whether participants had trouble getting out of bed, getting dressed, bathing and showering.

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