When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, there are two things we hear about all the time: exercise and diet. Far be it from us to dismiss the benefits of the two, but it would seem that there is another dimension worth taking into consideration. According to a team of scientists, social integration can increase the quality of life, along with a healthy diet and plenty of physical exercises.
The new study was conducted by the North Carolina University, and, based on their assessments, it would seem very likely that adolescents who choose to engage in ample relationships can lead a healthy life.
Teens between 12 and 18 years old, who feel that they are socially isolated have been found to harbor a 27 percent chance of developing an inflammatory disease. Moreover, as the subject grows older, it would seem that the effects of social isolation become acute.
The study projected that in the case of older people, social isolation can be as harmful as diabetes of hypertension. Moreover, people who choose to live the rest of their lives in seclusion are prone to develop hypertension-related diseases.
As for teens, it has been estimated that a lack of social interaction can have the same harrowing effects as a lack of physical activity.
In order to come up with these results, the team of scientists had to consult the result of 4 nationwide surveys, which followed several individuals from adolescence to old age. Also, studied the age group according to three major criteria: social integration (how well did they fit in society and how many relationships did they develop), social support (if they receive any support from friends and family) and social strain (how often where these individual criticized and how they responded to it).
These criteria were also paired with other physiological functions, such as BMI, blood pressure, waist length and the C-Reactive protein. The C-reactive protein can show us if there is an inflammation in our body.
The study’s conclusion is that social integration can increase the quality of life. Kathleen Mullan Harris, leading author of the study and a teacher at the University of North Carolina, declared that all these markers must be taken into account in order to see the big picture.
Moreover, the study managed to reveal another side of social interaction. According to their result, it would seem that social interaction via online platforms has been found to increase a teen’s quality of life, thus refuting several statement according to which an individual can feel isolated in an online environment although he managed to amass an impressive number of virtual friends.
So, in order to live a healthy life, one must exercise on a daily basis, have a balanced diet and not neglect social interactions.