(STUDY FINDS) -- ATHENS, Ga. — Mahjong, a tile-based game developed in China in the 19th century, is now played all over the world by millions. Usually contested between four people, Mahjong is a game of skill, strategy, and a little bit of luck. Besides being a fun & challenging hobby, a new study finds that Mahjong may also be beneficial from a mental health perspective.
Regularly playing Mahjong was linked to reduced depression rates among middle-aged and older Chinese adults, according to researchers at the University of Georgia. The research team investigated a number of different social activities and their impact on mental health among a Chinese population sample.
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Mental health has become a major problem in China. In fact, just China alone accounts for 17% of the global mental disorder burden. Furthermore, China, like many other nations, continues to see its older adult population increase thanks to improved medical care. Despite this, the rate of mental health problems in China linked to isolation or loneliness is on the rise.