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Traveling far would be good for your health according to a recent British study. The researchers thus underline the links between the constraints of travel, social relations and health.
It’s a scientifically proven fact: going on an adventure contributes to our well-being. But what emerges from this new study, conducted by researchers at University College London (UCL), is that traveling far, outside of our place of residence, would be even more beneficial for our health. .
Getting out of your hometown improves health
As part of this survey, scientists analyzed the movements of 3014 inhabitants of northern England.
The researchers focused on this particular area because residents face poorer health outcomes than the rest of the country, and where many rural and suburban areas suffer from poor access to health care. transport.
Specifically, they examined the links between perceived constraints to getting around, such as the lack of suitable public transport, and self-rated health, taking into account the frequency of trips, the number of different places visited, distance travelled, car use and public transport use.
Lead author Dr Paulo Anciaes said: “We expected that travel restrictions due to lack of access to appropriate public transport or a private car would be related to residents’ perceptions of their health due to lack of social participation”.
The results confirm this perception: participants who visited a greater number of places outside their home town were more socially fulfilled and in better health than those who did not.
Those over 55 are particularly affected
The study further revealed that people over the age of 55 suffered more from the lack of commuting/travelling. And for good reason :
“People over the age of 55 are more likely to face other travel constraints, such as limited mobility. They are also more likely to suffer from loneliness. In the North of England, rural and suburban areas with limited access options are more likely to experience population loss as young people move to cities in search of work and good options of travel. Meanwhile, older generations are being left behind in these areas with limited transportation options. The range of places they can visit is small, leading to less social participation and poorer overall health“, reveals the lead author of the study, Dr. Paulo Anciaes.
If the study has some limitations – it only refers to a small panel of residents located in a single place – it does however shed light on the link between travel constraints, social relations and health.