The Health and Happiness Connection

By CNN News Wire

Published 01/21 2014 07:13AM

Updated 01/21 2014 07:15AM

You know the old expression, "Don't worry, be happy"?  Now doctors say, there's something to that.   Happiness really can keep you active. 

Happy..happy..happy...we hear it all the time.  Stay happy, be happy, think happy.   Now a new study finds that people who enjoy life, REALLY enjoy life, are physically more active as they age, than those who are more negative.

The study, published in the recent edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looked at  32-hundred Englishmen and women aged 60 or older and followed them for 8 years.   Researchers divided them into different age groups and had them rate their life enjoyment on a four-point happiness scale.  They also did one-on-one interviews about their physical movements. 

The authors of the study said they found older people "who are happier and enjoy life more" have a slower decline in physical well-being and are more likely to be able to take care of themselves as they age.

People who enjoy life less, or those who were periodically sick, were more than three times as likely as their more positive counterparts to develop problems in their daily physical activities as they age.

(Carl Azuz for CNN's Health Minute)

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