Research reveals club involvement is secret to living longer

By on March 8, 2016


New research from the University of Queensland reveals retirees who had retained more social group memberships following retirement had reduced mortality rates and enjoyed better quality of life than their less social counterparts.

Published in the British Medical Journal Open last month, the study found if a person belonged to two clubs in the two years before retirement and maintained active connection with both clubs for six years after retirement, their risk of premature death was two per cent (2%). If contact was maintained with just one club, the risk rose to five per cent (5%), and if contact was ceased with both clubs, the risk jumped to twelve per cent (12%)1.

Dr. Steffens said the results suggest Australia needs to place greater attention on encouraging older people to stay engaged with their community through social clubs.

“Engagement with social groups, such as those provided by community clubs, generally give people a sense of belonging and provide people with purpose, meaning and social support” he said.
The Ladies Probus club in Woden has run for 28 years, with 75 members meeting on the second Tuesday of every month at the Southern Cross Club in Woden (CSSC).

Probus club member, Shirley Lamb said, “it’s wonderful for older people to be able to come together, there is plenty of chatter and laughter, and the club provides a great venue with morning tea and coffee”.

“We need to belong to clubs for these outings that provide great happiness, without these clubs we would be lonely and isolated, we can’t thank CSCC enough”.

Jeremy Wilcox at the Rugby Union Club (RUC) in Turner emphasises the important role bowling plays in the life of his retiree members.

“Our retiree members set the pace around here – they run social and twilight bowls, tournaments, raffles, umpiring and marking. It’s clear the club promotes friendships, social connections and a chance to experience a sense of family and camaraderie,” Mr Wilcox said.

Canberra clubs provide social, inclusive environments for every member of our community. Together, they support over 1000 community social and sporting groups, providing venues for them to meet and rehearse, monetary donations for equipment, catering and travel as well as various fundraising opportunities.

1 Steffens, N.K., Cruwys, T., Haslam, C., Jetten, J. & Haslem, S.A. (2016). Social group memberships in retirement are associated with reduced risk of premature death: evidence from a longitudinal cohort study. BMJ Open, e010164

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