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Calling Your Grandma Doesn’t Cut It, Study Suggests

Older Caucasian woman video-chatting with granddaughter
Older Caucasian woman video-chatting with granddaughter

The study was done on older adults, but researchers suspect that the benefits can be translated to younger people, too.

Research shows that face time—not FaceTime—is the best way to fend off the blues.

A study published Monday in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society notes that there are remarkable benefits to being physically present with a loved one—and they’re superior to the benefits of just picking up a phone for a quick chat.

The researchers used data from a University of Michigan longitudinal study called the Health and Retirement Survey, which surveyed 11,000 adults aged 50 and older between 2004 and 2010. The survey conducted waves every two years, so researchers were able to follow the participants’ progress over time. The survey measured a wide variety of health and social factors, including how much time a person spent socializing, with whom they spent this time, as well as self-reported signs of depression.

They found that participants who physically met with friends or family at least three times a week were the least likely to report depressive symptoms—just 6.5% of them reported such symptoms.

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