Why Shopping Benefits Senior Health

Posted by Origin Active Lifestyle Communities on September 15, 2018 | 3 minute read

health benefitsEvery day, older adults continue to break the stereotype that seniors live “passive and uneventful lives.” Today’s seniors are active, integrated participants in their communities and these interactions are contributing to their overall wellbeing. Origin Active Lifestyle Communities know that staying active can dramatically increase our quality of life as we age, and researchers agree!

 Of course, staying active does not necessarily mean having a full schedule of planned, physical activities. Studies show that engaging in basic, daily living activities can have extensive health benefits. 

You may not consider shopping as a beneficial activity (especially to your wallet!), but here are a few health benefits you may not have thought of:

Cognitive Stimulation

Since shopping is such a common activity, you may not consider the cognitive processes involved in making basic purchases. Whether you are shopping for groceries, clothing, or other items, the consumer must identify which items are needed versus which items are simply desired. In addition, they must discern where the items can be found in the store, evaluate and compare prices, and determine value as compared to cost. These activities stimulate the areas of the brain involved in the decision-making process. 

Physical Activity

Perhaps a more obvious health benefit is the physical activity that comes along with shopping. According to the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, a study of more than 1,800 individuals aged 65 or older showed that those who shopped every day, particularly men, had a 27% lower risk of death than those who did not. Researchers believe the reasoning behind this is due to the physical movement involved in shopping, as well as providing the opportunity for seniors to make purchases that positively affect their health and support a wholesome diet. 

Social Engagement 

The overall shopping experience can provide social engagement by allowing seniors the chance to meet and interact with new people. Linked to longevity and quality of life, social engagement is critical for seniors as it combats the dangers of isolation – especially for those seniors living alone. 


Decrease in Stress, Increase in Positivity 

Similar to a coping mechanism, shopping has been said to have a positive emotional effect on individuals causing a decrease in stress levels, blood pressure and feelings of anxiety. Even if you do not have the budget to go on a “shopping spree”, a study conducted by Brunel University in the UK found that levels of dopamine increased during enjoyable experiences like window shopping; the correlation being linked to the anticipation of a shopping experience rather than the shopping experience itself. Levels of dopamine play a fundamental role in mood, attention, effective memory, learning and more.

You can take advantage of all positive aspects of shopping by inviting a friend or family member to spend the day with you – no need to spend any money!

 Origin Active Lifestyle Communities are located throughout Canada and situated near local restaurants and beautiful shopping districts. We are committed to creating an exciting and active lifestyle for our community members in and around our communities. Schedule a visit to one of our communities and experience the Origin Way for yourself!


Topics: Social Wellness, Health & Nutrition