Activity is integral to aging well. Activity doesn’t have to be a full schedule of planned activities. Engaging in daily life activities, such as gardening, cooking, grocery shopping, shopping, etc. can be as beneficial. Such activities can stimulate cognitive processes, provide physical benefits and promote social engagement. As simple an activity as shopping may be a strong factor in quality of life for seniors who may not be as active or physically as well as their peers.
According to studies, seniors who shop regularly may actually have an increased lifespan than those who do not. The physical benefits are prominent as well. Longer life expectancy can be attributed to the physical activity involved in shopping, the opportunity for these older adults to make buying decisions that positively impacts good diet and health, and the increased social interaction. Social interaction is considered the key component in positively affecting life span because it affects life quality. Shopping gives older adults a chance to meet and interact with new people during the outing.
Anthem Senior Living in Phoenix, AZ is an award-winning assisted living facility in the region that encourages healthy living among its residents. Seniors with mobility or transportation challenges can experience the cognitive, health and social benefits with us.
Health benefits of shopping:
Physical Activity– There are no two ways about the fact that this is the more obvious health benefit associated with shopping. A study conducted showed that those who shopped every day had a 27 percent lower risk of death than those who did not. Researchers believe that the physical movement involved in shopping, as well as the chance for seniors to make purchases positively affect their health thus increasing their life expectancy.
Cognitive Stimulation– You might be surprised to know that cognitive processes are involved in making basic purchases. Activities like understanding and deciding on which items are required versus which are desired, discerning where the items could be found in the store, determining and comparing prices, etc. stimulate brain areas involved in the decision-making process.
Reduced Stress- Shopping is considered a coping mechanism for many, rightfully so since it is said to have a positive emotional impact on individuals causing a decrease in blood pressure, stress levels and feelings of anxiety. A study found increase in dopamine (feel-good hormones) levels during enjoyable experiences like window shopping.
Last, but not the least the biggest benefit is the social engagement that the overall shopping experience can offer by giving seniors the chance to meet and interact with new people. Social engagement is crucial for older adults as it combats the dangers of isolation and loneliness.
Online shopping has also caught up with older adults because of the mode being highly convenient that doesn’t require for an individual to wait in lines or wait on for shop assistants to help you with your purchases. Shopping can be done in minutes, any time of the day. The popularity of online shopping among older adults isn’t surprising in the face of better pricing options and more variety, not to mention the internet shopping sites being completely secured. Still, exercise necessary caution when shopping online.