Feeling depressed? Play mahjong, says study

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Our lolas would be proud

Aside from being a highly questionable source of income, it seems that your grandparents’ fave game has another benefit hiding up its sleeve.

In a study published by the University of Georgia on Science Daily, playing mahjong is apparently an effective way to reduce the rate of depression among seniors and the middle-aged.

mahjong, Feeling depressed? Play mahjong, says study

Over 11,000 Chinese residents, aged 45 and above, took part in the survey. Poor mental health is a very serious issue in the Asian country as it accounts for 17% of the total worldwide cases of mental disorders.

The researchers subjected respondents to various social activities – such as visiting friends, volunteering in the community and playing mahjong – and monitored the effects these had on the usual symptoms of depression.

They concluded that participating in such activities contributed to better mental health. Mahjong was a standout, specifically among urban residents.

One of the study’s authors, Adam Chen, theorized that mahjong in urban areas was considered more of a ‘bonding opportunity’, as opposed to rural ones, where it’s more seen as a ‘gambling activity.

mahjong, Feeling depressed? Play mahjong, says study