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Livliga | Health-minded February

Friday, March 4, 2016

Social bonds keep you healthier


It is a good thing to note that humans are needy. It takes a lot for us to live healthy, happy and productive lives. So much of the time we focus on what we eat, how much we eat, the exercise we need to incorporate in our daily routines and the amount of sleep our bodies require to stay healthy. Much less often we focus on how profound our need is to have relationships with others. I recently came across this write up on research concerning our social bonds, It shows us how social bonds, or more specifically the lack of them, can effect our physical health as much as if we are sedentary or eat an unhealthy diet. Bottom line, social connections help us manage stress and enjoy life more.  Here is the write up on the research:

Doctors often tout regular exercise and a sensible diet as keys to good health, but new research suggests that forming social bonds is just as important. Social scientists at the University of North Carolina analyzed four studies involving more than 14,000 people ages 12 to 91, The Washington Post reports. The results indicate that the number and quality of a person’s social connections affect specific measures of health over the course of a lifetime. Older adults who feel socially isolated are more than twice as likely to develop high blood pressure, making loneliness a more significant risk factor for the condition than diabetes. Social ties are also crucial early on in life. Lonely teens, for example, are as likely to develop inflammation as young people who are sedentary, the study shows. For all age groups, researchers theorize, social connections mitigate the harmful effects of daily stress. “Do have a good and healthy diet, and exercise,” advises study author Yang Claire Yang, “but also try to have a good social life.” 

Source: The Week-- January 14, 2016