Sil­ver surf­ing good for your health

The Star Early Edition - - LIFESTYLE -

LONDON: Be­ing a sil­ver surfer won’t just keep you up to date with the younger gen­er­a­tion – it could boost your health too.

Older peo­ple who used the in­ter­net reg­u­larly were found to be able to look after their health bet­ter, staving off men­tal de­cline.

The team at Univer­sity Col­lege London as­sessed the “health lit­er­acy” of almost 4 500 adults in Eng­land aged 52 or older – the abil­ity to un­der­stand and process ba­sic health de­tails.

They looked at in­ter­net use and in­volve­ment in civic, leisure, and cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties, as­sess­ing them in 2004/05 and again in 2010/11. The most im­por­tant fac­tor gov­ern­ing a de­cline in health lit­er­acy is thought to be dwin­dling cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties.

In­ter­net use and en­gage­ment in civic, leisure, or cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties were lower among those whose health lit­er­acy de­clined.

Lind­say Kobayashi of UCL said: “In­ter­net use and en­gage­ment in var­i­ous so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties ap­pear to help older adults main­tain the lit­er­acy skills re­quired to self-man­age health.” – Daily Mail

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