Being lonely does not just have an immediate effect, in the long run, it shortens your lifespan—and as such, we have to build more healthy relationships.
According to a new research, loneliness shortens lifespan as much as being obese.
“Whether a person feels alone is as much of a predictor of whether they will die prematurely as their weight, researchers found. And they predict a loneliness ‘epidemic’ in the future as more people live alone – and warn people need to start taking social relationships more seriously.
They explained loneliness and social isolation can take different forms. For example, someone may be surrounded by people but still feel alone.Other people might isolate themselves because they prefer to be alone. The effect on lifespan, however, is the same for those two scenarios, researchers found,” MailOnline reports.
The lead author of the study-Julianne Holt-Lunstad, of Brigham Young University, Utah, said; ‘the effect is comparable to obesity, something that public health takes very seriously’ and that ‘we need to start taking our social relationships more seriously.’
The research also found that the link between loneliness and the risk of death is stronger among younger people.
Even though older people are more likely to be lonely and face a higher risk of death, loneliness and social isolation better predict premature death among groups of people younger than 65 years.
The co-author of the study-Tim Smith also said that, ‘not only are we at the highest recorded rate of living alone across the entire century, but we’re at the highest recorded rates ever on the planet.’
He added; ‘with loneliness on the rise, we are predicting a possible epidemic in the future.’
The study analysed data from a variety of health studies—the sample included more than three million participants from studies that held data for loneliness, social isolation, and living alone.