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It’s official: day trips are really good for your health

Scientists say travelling to new places lowers the risk of issues like heart disease, depression and dementia

Amy Houghton
Written by
Amy Houghton

In the darkest depths of January, it can be pretty tricky to remove yourself from your duvet and get out of the house.

But if you’re looking for something to give you that final shove, experts have found that taking a day trip is great for your health. 

Academics at University College London quizzed more than 3,000 adults in the north of England – where there are fewer transport options – about how often they travelled at least 15 miles from home. 

Those who travelled further and more frequently to visit friends or family were more likely to report better physical and mental health. As well as reaping the social benefits, researchers found that people were more likely to partake in healthy activities such as long walks when on a day trip. 

According to the study, venturing outside your local area leads to lower risk of health issues related to loneliness, including heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and dementia. 

This was especially true for older participants, who rely more on trains and buses to travel around. Dr Paulo Anciaes, who led the research, told The Times: ‘[Older generations] are left behind in these areas with limited transport options. The range of places they can visit is low, leading to less social participation and lower levels of general health.’

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