Consumerism and longevity

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Consumerism and longevity refers to research which examines the relationship between consumption, generally in the form of shopping, and longevity.

In a Taiwanese study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, it was found that shopping prolonged the survival rate among those over 65.[1][2] The study noted that "compared to other types of leisure-time physical activity like formal exercise, which usually requires motivation and sometimes professional instruction, shopping activity is easier to undertake and maintain", concluding that "shopping captures several dimensions of personal wellbeing, health, and security as well as contributing to the community's cohesiveness and economy, and may represent or actually confer increased longevity."[3][4]


The study, however, has been criticized as it has been suggested that healthier people naturally shop more frequently - the implication being that the study's findings, while finding a correlation between shopping and longevity, do not necessarily indicate that shopping itself increases longevity; i.e. correlation does not imply causation.[5]


  1. ^ Chang, Y.-H.; R. C.-Y. Chen, M. L. Wahlqvist, M.-S. Lee (2011). "Frequent shopping by men and women increases survival in the older Taiwanese population". Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. doi:10.1136/jech.2010.126698. ISSN 0143-005X. 
  2. ^ Stein, Jeannine (April 7, 2011). "Retail therapy doesn't just perk you up, it could help you live longer". Los Angeles Time. Retrieved 28 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "Frequent Shopping Prolongs Life, Study Suggests". ScienceDaily. Apr 9, 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Briggs, Helen (7 April 2011). "Shopping 'may improve health'". BBC News. Retrieved 28 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Gardner, Amanda (April 7, 2011). "'Retail Therapy' Might Really Work". HealthDay (BusinessWeek). Retrieved 28 April 2011.