Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Health Importance of Social Interaction

FriendsExtreme loneliness can have serious health effects according to a research study out of the University of Chicago. Loneliness can decrease life expectancy and increase rates of depression. Additionally loneliness can negatively affect sleep, blood pressure, and stress levels.

 John Cacioppo, University of Chicago Professor of Psychology, recommends that individuals create and maintain meaningful social relationships to improve health. Individuals should work to have strong social connections by having regular in-person social interaction, and working to maintain existing relationships. However, extreme loneliness is more than being isolated, and it is important for a person to also feel like a member of a group and emotionally supported. Cacioppo suggests that maintaining healthy social relationships should be a consideration when making big life decisions, such as whether to move to another state for retirement, since moving away from existing social networks may leave the person without the social interaction and support needed for a healthy life.

See Christopher Bergland, Maintaining Healthy Social Connections Improves Well-Being, Psychology Today, Feb. 18, 2014.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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