What are some benefits of social interaction?

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Eric Olsen
Fitness
Increased social connections may promote longevity and increased vitality by reducing the risk of heart disease, hypertension, perhaps some cancers, and even infectious diseases. Indeed, social connectedness appears to be one of the more important factors in heart disease prevention. A Swedish study, for example, found that a person's social contacts -- with a spouse, relatives, friends, church and other community involvements, and so on -- were a better predictor of the risk of heart attack than any of the accepted biomedical risk factors such as hypertension and an adverse blood cholesterol profile, although this study didn't measure exercise or diet.

A study of newly unemployed workers found that those who had the support of spouses had lower cholesterol levels than those who lacked such support. A study of married and unmarried individuals found that those who are not married experience a higher mortality rate than those who are; a study of pregnant U.S. Army wives found that women with rich social resources had only one-third the complications of those without social connectedness. In a recent study of on-the-job stress, investigators found that men and women with good social support networks had lower heart rates and lower blood pressures than those who lacked such social support.
Lifefit: An Effective Exercise Program for Optimal Health and a Longer Life

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Lifefit: An Effective Exercise Program for Optimal Health and a Longer Life

An easy-to-follow programme for lengthening and improving lives. More than an exercise guide, this text is an effective tool for making meaningful lifestyle decisions to benefit long-term fitness. In...
Ellen Frudakis
Health Education
Some of the many benefits of ongoing social interaction are:
  • A feeling of acceptance
  • The possibility for friendship
  • An increase in self-esteem
  • A chance to have fun
  • Access to social support when needed 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.