It’s possible that spending time with friends and family protects lung function as adults age. Research out of Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania showed social adults maintain lung health longer.
The study, recently published in the American Psychological Association’s journal Health Psychology, was based on data collected from the MacArthur Study of Successful Aging. Authors looked at information including social roles and pulmonary strength from 1,000 healthy adults between the ages of 70 and 79.
Results revealed that people with the most social roles also had the strongest lungs, according to the University Herald. It was determined that marriage is the best relationship to promote health, but it’s not the only way. Older people can remain social through religious groups or activities and events in their active retirement communities.
Lung function naturally decreases as people age, which can affect the development of illnesses like asthma and cardiovascular disease.
“Older people need to get out because any sort of social interaction will improve their health,” Crista Crittenden said in a statement. Crittenden is the study’s lead author and a visiting assistant professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon in Qatar.