Does having a hobby help you live longer?

“Having a hobby can add YEARS to your life,” The Daily Express reports. The headline is prompted by an international study that looked at ageing and happiness.
The study found older people who reported the greatest sense of purpose in life survived longer than those who reported having little sense of purpose, suggesting that having a meaning in life might play a role in protecting people’s health.
But this study cannot prove having a hobby or other purpose in life increases the chances of surviving longer.
As the authors point out, there are many other factors involved that might have an effect on survival, including ill health and material income.
Other studies show a two-way connection between health and wellbeing. Being affected by common illnesses such as arthritis or heart disease, for example, can make it difficult to maintain a zest for life.
That said, it’s obviously sensible for people to stay active as they grow older and to maintain their social activities and relationships. Having something to live for, whether it’s as noble as eradicating world poverty or a little more down to earth, such as maintaining an attractive garden, could help you live longer.
Research shows people who regularly give up their time to help others, stay active, learn new things and connect with others tend to have higher reported feelings of wellbeing.

Story courtesy of NHS News