Close relationships help you live longer

Curated by BBXX

It turns out that feeling lonely can not only harm our mental wellbeing but also our physically health.  

Solid scientific evidence shows that social relationships affect a range of health outcomes, including mental health, physical health, health habits, and mortality risk.

A review of studies into the impact of relationships on health found that people had a 50% better survival rate if they belonged to a wider social group, be it friends, neighbors, relatives or a mix of these.  

A study published in the Journal of Plos Medicine has found that being lonely and isolated was as bad for a person's health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic. It was as harmful as not exercising and twice as bad for the health as being obese. 

Holt-Lunstad said there was no clear figure on how many relationships are enough to boost a person's health, but people fared better when they rarely felt lonely and were close to a group of friends, had good family contact and had someone they could rely on and confide in.

Elementary schools should be teaching reading, writing, arithmetic and relationships. Hospitals could involve spouses and family members in medical treatments and procedures. Doctors should ask patients about their smoking and dietary habits, as well their support group. 

Sources:

The Guardian - With A Little Help From Your Friends You Can Live Longer

NCBI - Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy

Deseret News - BYU study finds relationships help you live longer

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