Loneliness is as harmful to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day, according to the Campaign to End Loneliness. The Campaign sites various sources of evidence for example:-
- 'The effect of loneliness and isolation on mortality exceeds the impact of well-known risk factors such as obesity, and has a similar influence as cigarette smoking (Holt-Lunstad, 2010)
- Loneliness increases the risk of high blood pressure (Hawkley et al, 2010)
- Lonely individuals are also at higher risk of the onset of disability (Lund et al, 2010)' (Source:- http://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/threat-to-health)
At Altogether Better, we believe that a key to overcoming loneliness and social isolation is for people to come together in communities, building capacity to address the problem. Often it is the solutions made 'by the community for the community' which are most effective.
According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, 'Social networks and friendships not only have an impact on reducing the risk of mortality or developing certain diseases, but they also help individuals to recover when they do fall ill (Marmot, 2010)'. We couldn't agree more!
To find out more information on this research, as well as the Campaign to End Loneliness, please visit:- http://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/threat-to-health