It is not only diet and physical exercise that would guarantee a longer life expectancy in good health. Driving as long as possible would also help maintain mental and physical health, according to a study by the Mailman School of Public Health associated with Columbia University in the United States.
American researchers explain in the journal Journal of The American Geriatrics Society that stopping driving is associated with an increased risk of decline in physical and cognitive abilities. The study reveals a paradox: if car travelrepresent 49% of deaths and 47% of injuries among those over 65, the risk of mortality at 5 years increases by 68% among those over 55 who stop driving, according to the study, taken up by Why doctor. Seniors are then five times more likely to return to a retirement home.
Stopping driving reduces the size of the social circle by 51%. This lesser sociability affects the health of women more than that of men, according to the authors. “As former drivers begin to substitute outdoor activities for indoor activities, this can impair physical abilities,” notes Thelma Mielenz, co-author of the study. When seniors stop driving, “it is important to develop personalized strategies to maintain mobility and social functions”, recommends the researcher in conclusion.
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