The study’s investigators noted that getting outside of one’s home provides numerous opportunities for engagement with the world outside, and may facilitate exposure to a variety of beneficial experiences.
“What is interesting is that the improved survival associated with getting out of the house frequently was also observed among people with low levels of physical activity, and even those with impaired mobility,” said lead author Dr. Jeremy Jacobs, of the Hadassah Hebrew-University Medical Center, in Jerusalem. “Resilient individuals remain engaged, irrespective of their physical limitations.”
This is interesting because so many older people have difficulties getting out of the house and many rarely do. This doesn’t necessarily mean that leaving the house will make someone live longer, although there are lots of things that would connect the two things. People who are in good health are more likely to be able to leave the house. Lots of research has shown that people with strong social support systems and community involvement are healthier. We know that loneliness has a connection to poor health and a shorter life expectancy.
For those of you who find it difficult to get out of the house (and take the people you’re caring for out of the house with you), what makes it difficult for you to get out of the house? What would make it easier? And why do you think getting out of the house would impact someone’s life expectancy?