chats

Online chats with friends and family improve older people’s mental health, reveals UCL research

The results showed internet access could be used to reduce loneliness for older people - Geoges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images
The results showed internet access could be used to reduce loneliness for older people – Geoges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images

Older people who go online daily are happier when they use the internet to stay in touch with friends and family, a major new study has found.

Research by University College London (UCL), which studied the internet habits of 9,000 over 50s over four years, found that participants had better mental health when they used the internet for communication, but felt worse when they used it for information purposes, such as job hunting.

Researchers said the results showed internet access could be used to reduce loneliness and urged the Government to make it easier for older people not yet online to access the web.

The findings contrast with a growing number of studies finding excessive time online or on social media can adversely affect young people’s mental health.

For instance, a 2018

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