Social Connection Improves Survival

Social Connection Improves Survival

“Social relationships, or the relative lack thereof, constitute a major risk factor for health—rivalling the effect of well established health risk factors such as cigarette smoking, blood pressure, blood lipids, obesity and physical activity”.

—House, Landis, and Umberson; Science 1988

A meta-analytic review of 148 prospective studies assessed 308,849 participants and concluded a 50% increased likelihood of survival for participants with stronger social relationships. The findings of this study suggest the influence of social connection on risk of death is comparable to other significant risk factors such as alcohol and smoking, and that weaker social relationships may exceed the risk of other predictors of such as physical inactivity and obesity.

Ever wondered what it takes to find happiness? Renowned psychiatrist and TEDx speaker, Robert Waldinger explains that the longest longitudinal study in human history revealed that happiness is mostly dependent on perceived social connection. For the original TEDx talk, follow this link: