According to a new study, married men and women have better physical and mental health at older ages than unmarried people. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, found that married people, besides having better health, specifically walk faster and have a stronger grip. University College London’s Institute of Education, found researchers looking into the association between marital status and the ability to carry out everyday tasks in later life.
They analyzed data from two existing studies of older people and their physical capability. Married people were separated into those in their first marriage and those who had remarried, while unmarried people were divided into those who were divorced, who were widowed or who had never married. In both studies, married people came out on top.
Both unmarried men and women had slower walking speeds than their married counterparts. Men in England in their first marriage walked four inches per second faster than never-married men and three inches per second faster than widowers. There was a far less significant difference between men in their first marriage and remarried men, with the former walking less than a tenth of an inch per second faster. Alternatively, the health impact of marriage might shrink. As marriage rates decline, it is also possible that the association between marriage and physical capability may not be so strong for younger people when they reach older ages. So being unmarried may not be so important for their physical health.