I came across this article in Time this morning and found it so interesting – check it out! Ever wonder the ingredients to living longer? Sure there is the typical advice: eat healthy, exercise, don’t smoke… but have you ever considered that having lots of friends might actually be beneficial to your health and longevity?
According to this article and researchers at Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina, who pooled data from 148 studies on the topic, involving over 300,000 men and women across the developed world, those with poor social ties had an average of 50% higher odds of death in the study’s follow-up period than those with “robust” social ties.
The study says that those statistics are “about as large as the mortality difference observed between smokers and nonsmokers.” Sounds pretty amazing, huh?
However, scientists don’t really know yet how, specifically, friends and family can actually improve one’s health. The article speculates that we turn to friends for tangible support in times of need or sickness, and that taking care of other people can prompt us to take care of ourselves.
While you’re thinking about the subject, check out this AARP Radio segment from last month on the same topic of longevity. Dr. Robert Butler (who passed away at the age of 83 this July 4) talks about how having a goal in life (and close personal relationships!) can help.
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