Healthy ‘social connections’ – with relatives, friends, neighbours or workmates – can improve our odds of survival by 50 per cent, the study found.
But being a hermit can be as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, being an alcoholic, doing no exercise – and can even be twice as bad for us as being obese.
Professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad, from the Department of Psychology at Brigham Young University, said: “The idea that a lack of social relationships is a risk factor for death is still not widely recognized by health organisations and the public.”
“When someone is connected to a group and feels responsibility for other people, that sense of purpose and meaning translates to taking better care of themselves and taking fewer risks.”
The researchers looked at data from 148 previous studies that measured human interaction and tracked health outcomes for a period of seven and a half years on average.
Full Story: Popular people live longer – Telegraph