Social Connectedness Matters

posted on Thursday, April 12, 2018

Did you know that being social can improve your overall health? Healthcare experts call it “social connectedness.”

Wikipedia defines social connectedness "as the measure of how people come together and interact. At an individual level, social connectedness involves the quality and number of connections one has with other people in a social circle of family, friends and acquaintances."

According to an article in Psychology Today, the benefits of having an active social life include:

  1. You may live longer. Those who are more isolated have an increased risk of dying prematurely.
  2. You will enjoy better physical health. Social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system and can help ward off age-related disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
  3. You will enjoy better mental health. Not to mention socialization can lower the risk of dementia.

Healthcare experts acknowledge social connectedness is a factor in the national dialogue around population health -- aimed to improve the health of an entire population. Social connectedness can enhance quality of life and improve health and wellness outcomes in communities.

Ways to become more socially connected:

  • Join a group
  • Volunteer
  • Engage in conversations
  • Go online

Yes, online social networks, in moderation, can positively enhance one's social connectedness.

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