Updated on January 20, 2016
Lonely? It could shorten your life span
Whether you’re lonely (alone even in a crowd), isolated (because you may be a hazard to others) or like being alone, all three have an effect on longevity, as per a research done by Brigham Young University. And the threat is almost as much as that of obesity.
The study analysed data from a variety of health studies. Altogether, the sample included more than 3 million participants from studies that included data for loneliness, social isolation, and living alone. Controlling for variables such as socioeconomic status, age, gender, and pre-existing health conditions, they found that the effect goes both ways. The lack of social connections presents an added risk, and the existence of relationships provides a positive health effect. The new study appears in Perspectives on Psychological Science.
Staying in touch via online on texting methods does yield some relief, but the emotional context sometimes gets lost in translation. So the best is to plan your date with your friends, family, colleagues. Just a twice-a-week coffee to chat about nothing isn’t such a bad idea, after all, especially if it’ll give you a long life and the anti-oxidant benefits of coffee too!