From gardening to writing your life story, taking up a hobby is good for silver health, happiness and fewer symptoms of depression, according the an extensive study published in the journal Nature Medicine. Rsearchers at UCL (University College London) analysed data from 93,263 people over 65 who had enrolled in five existing studies in England, Japan, the US, China and 12 other European countries. The data were gathered over periods from four to eight years. As an observational study the results suggest a causal effect but do not prove the impact of hobbies. However, lead author Dr Karen Mak said: “Our study shows the potential of hobbies to protect older people from age-related decline in mental health and wellbeing. This potential is consistent across many countries and cultural settings.”

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