Taking a photo a day is good for people's wellbeing, new research suggests.

Posting images in online photo-sharing forums for two months gives people a sense of routine, boosts their interaction with others and makes them feel more engaged with their surroundings, a study found, reports the Daily Mail.

A daily photo also encourages people to leave the house, with 76 per cent of the pictures in the study being taken outdoors, the research adds.

Some even claim sharing photos with others helped them cope with a death or illness in the family, the study found.

Advertisement

The researchers, from Lancaster University, said the practice is "an active process of creating meaning, in which a new conceptualisation of wellbeing emerges".

"Photography forces me to look at the world again."

One of the study's participants said: "I stopped working, not retiring, but I took time out. During this time out, I thought, 'OK, how shall I record my days? I want to be much more mindful about how I spend my time now.'

"Because I didn't have the company, the corporate structure anymore, for a certain period, and that's why I started basically doing it."

The researchers believe creating a routine around taking a daily photograph may help combat loneliness.

Speaking of how it made them more mindful, another participant said: 'Photography has been quite good for me over the years because I think it forces me to look at the world again.'

A third participant added: "It's really good to be able to take that five minutes every day to do something slightly creative, which I enjoy doing and I think is good for wellbeing."

The researchers believe setting the goal of taking a picture every day helps people be more active if, for instance, they go on a walk in order to get a particular shot.

One of the participants said: "It encourages me out of the house sometimes when I could just sit on my backside with a cup of tea."

Once the images have been taken, people also get comfort from reminiscing on what they have seen.

A study participant said: "If I'm ever feeling down or something it's nice to be able to scroll back and see good memories."

How the research was carried out

The researchers sent out an invitation via social media to participate in the study.

Out of the 33 responders, eight were chosen based on meeting the inclusion criteria of taking a photo a day.

The researchers tracked the pictures the participants posted online, including any accompanying text and interaction with others, for two months.

At the end of the two months, the participants answered questions about why they took part in the study and their experiences of it.

Stopping exercise worsens depression after just three days

Stopping exercise can worsen depression in as little as three days, research suggested last month.

In a review of six studies assessing the impact of ceasing activity in sufferers of the mental-health condition, results imply their symptoms, such as a continuous low mood, appear almost immediately.

Study author Professor Bernhard Baune, from the University of Adelaide, said: "It is important that people understand the potential impact on their mental wellbeing when they suddenly cease regular exercise."

PhD student Julie Morgan, who was also involved in the study, added: "At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week is recommended to maintain health and prevent depression or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise for added health benefits."

Previous research suggests being active increases the release of feel-good endorphins, which boost people's moods and promote calmness.