Chinese study suggests socialization increases lifespan
Beijing, Mar 14 (EFE).- A team of Chinese scientists claim to have discovered that frequent engagement in social activities delays death by up to 204 percent, state media reported Tuesday.
The study, carried out by researchers from Sichuan University, was based on data gathered by a survey involving over 28,500 participants with a median age of 89 years.
The survey started in 2002, when the first data of some elderly people was recorded, and went on until 2018, when the latest data was gathered, state news agency Xinhua reported.
The scientists divided the participants into five categories depending on whether they engaged in social activities at least once a day, once a week, once a month, occasionally or never.
After adjusting variables like sex, marital status or income and following up with the subjects for at least five years, the researchers concluded that a higher frequency of social interactions is associated with a significantly longer lifespan.
As compared to those who never socialized, those who did so occasionally delayed their death by 42 percent and those who socialized weekly, by 110 percent, while those who had social interactions every day delayed it by 204 percent.
Although the health benefits of socialization have been known for some time, a majority of the studies are based on data drawn from western nations, with little information on Asian populations, the Xinhua highlighted.
By 2035, there will be more than 400 million Chinese people will be above the age of 60, accounting for more than 30 percent of the country’s population.
Authorities have warned that an aging population poses numerous challenges for providing public services and sustaining social welfare.
China’s population declined by 850,000 residents in 2022, going from 1.4126 billion at the end of 2021 to 1.4117 billion in 2022. EFE