As if single people didn’t already have enough to deal with. Here’s another nail in the proverbial coffin. New research presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association suggests loneliness and social isolation may represent a greater public health hazard than obesity.
“Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need — crucial to both well-being and survival. Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment,” said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, professor of psychology at Brigham Young University. “Yet an increasing portion of the U.S. population now experiences isolation regularly.”
Researchers found that greater social connection is associated with a 50 percent reduced risk of early death. Approximately 42.6 million adults over age 45 in the United States are estimated to be suffering from chronic loneliness. The study suggests people should be preparing for retirement socially as well as financially.
For more about the study, click here.