The Good Life
Surfing the net may help to prevent depression as we age. A new U.S. study suggests when older Americans regularly spend time online, they are about a third less likely to suffer from depression compared with peers who don’t use the internet.
The study in the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences looked at data on more than 3000 people who were retired and 50 or older.
Researchers wanted to focus on retirees — those who no longer have jobs that force them to interact in person or online.
Only 9 percent of those who said they used the Internet for email or other purposes appeared to have symptoms of depression, compared to 16 percent of those who didn’t email or surf the Web.
And the reduction in depression was greatest for people living alone.
Researchers say that suggests it’s about connecting with others, eliminating isolation and loneliness. And since many older adults have mobility and health issues that keep them from being able to travel and visit family … but being able to use email to see pictures of their kids, grandkids or even great grandkids can help they stay in contact.