Hobbies can help combat depression, says study

New research has found that hobbies can help combat depression in old age, according to telegraph.co.uk.

The study was carried out by researchers at the Concordia University in Montreal. They found that those older people who take up hobbies such as sports, travelling and socialising are more likely to have a sharper mind and avoid mental illness.

Experts said that retirement has been historically linked to a decline in brain power as people swap from busy working lives to a more relaxed timetable. However, taking up such activities could prevent this.

Talking about the data, lead research of the study, clinical psychologist Dr Larry Baer, told dailymail.co.uk: "Retirement usually occurs right around the time when normal age-related declines in cognitive function come to the fore. It is important to understand what is happening to brain power during this period and to identify risk factors for mental decline, as well as factors that will help protect against it."

As well as take up hobbies, those older people who do think they are experiencing depression should visit their local doctor. They might be able to recommend help such as anti-depressants or counselling courses.

According to a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) earlier this year, around a fifth of UK adults now suffer from depression or anxiety.