Over the past few decades, social scientists have gone beyond the evidence of extreme social deprivation to demonstrate a clear link between social relationships and health in the general population. Adults who are more socially connected are healthier and live longer than their more isolated peers.
With the average person now spending over two hours a day on various social media platforms, it’s only natural that this turn to this digital world is to build communities. Social relationships—both quantity and quality—affect mental health, health behavior, physical health, and mortality risk. Studies have shown that the most socially isolated Americans are those at the greatest risk of poor health and early mortality.
Being a part of a community can make us feel as though we are a part of something greater than ourselves. It can give us opportunities to connect with people, to reach for our goals, and makes us feel safe and secure. A strong community provides an environment of safety and security. For example, social media can be a safe space to get support and discuss health!
Though the impersonal nature of connecting with others from behind a screen receives criticism, the anonymity of social media allows users to talk about topics that are too painful or embarrassing to talk about in person. The online forum can provide a safe space for users to build a community. For example, Facebook groups offer an environment for like-minded people to share health struggles.
These groups give users a place to ask questions without judgment. This type of emotional support could have powerful physical effects, too, since social connection improves overall health.
According to a recent study by Harvard University, people following healthy habits were 82% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 65% less likely to die from cancer! Download the Lively Habits App to help you keep track of your 10 healthy lifestyle habits. Spend a couple of minutes a day to remind yourself of these healthy habits! These 10 lifestyle habits can help strengthen yourself against COVID-19 risks, illnesses, and chronic illness. Stay safe out there!Top