Loneliness might be harmful to more than just your mental health

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Is Loneliness The Real New Smoking?

 Loneliness The Real New SmokingThere has been a flurry of headlines declaring that sitting is the new smoking. There is certainly merit in getting folks up and about. Those nifty elevating desks might even make sense for some. However,  perhaps loneliness is the real new smoking. The UK has already appointed a Loneliness Minister.  Loneliness, however, requires more than an elevating desk. Like so many health issues, loneliness requires Lifestyle changes… usually with a bit of discomfort and hard to maintain. There is value for this value based care but the fix is outside conventional clinical care.

A recent study by Cigna found that nearly half of Americans feel alone or left out. David M. Cordani, president and chief executive officer of Cigna, says, “We’re seeing a lack of human connection, which ultimately leads to a lack of vitality.”

In addition to lacking vitality, the head researcher of one 2015 study on loneliness, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, states loneliness has the same effect on your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Holt-Lunstad’s study also found that loneliness increases your risk for obesity and high blood pressure, exceeding risks for these conditions from alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and air pollution. In general, lonely people have poorer physical and mental health, sleep less or less well and have weaker social skills than people who do not report high levels of loneliness.

According to the Cigna study, there’s a significant link between loneliness and work, which means employers can play an important role in relieving loneliness. And it’s important that employers understand the seriousness of this issue for the workplace, as poor physical and mental health correlates to higher absenteeism. Lack of sleep leads to lower productivity and decreased attentiveness to tasks. And weaker social skills impede communication with internal and external customers. Like employee disengagement, loneliness can be dangerous to your team health.

For more information please see original article: Loneliness might be harmful to more than just your mental health | Mental Health | iosconews.com

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