Who listens to the radio?

Turn on the radio: it could be good for you

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Researchers are looking at whether listening to the radio can improve the wellbeing of older Australians.

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COULD listening to the radio – and what you hear on the radio – improve your life as you age?

That’s what researchers at the University of Melbourne hope to determine.

Supported by the Community Broadcast Foundation, the university is recruiting participants aged 65 and over to explore how radio programming impacts their lives and how this information might be used to inform programming to improve the wellbeing of older listeners.

Faculty of Fine Arts and Music post-doctoral research fellow  Amanda Krause said it was important to examine ways to improve the lives of older people, who were more susceptible to obstacles that have a negative effect on their quality of life.

“Many older people have restricted access to social contact and are highly vulnerable to a range of socio-emotional problems including loneliness and depression, making this research particularly important,” Dr Krause said.

“It’s also interesting that some people not only gain enjoyment from listening to the radio, but consciously modify their listening in efforts to improve their mood. That’s something we’re really interested in.”

Previous research shows that participating in music-making opportunities – such as singing in a choir, playing an instrument in a band, and listening to music – can reduce depression and anxiety symptoms.

“My colleagues at the Community Broadcasting Foundation and I are interested in whether listening to various radio programs, which can also include music programming, can offer some of the same benefits to the wellbeing of older Australians,” Dr Krause said.

“We’re focused on the radio because it is a very familiar, long-standing technology which offers both information and entertainment.”

People 65 and over can participate in the Radio for Wellbeing research project via a short online survey HERE

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