People around you and your health

Evolution has shaped us to be intricately social creatures. From birth (possibly even before,) we are designed to be highly attuned to those around us.

Researchers have found that friends and family are one of the biggest influences on your health, with nearly half of respondents in a multinational survey reporting that their social circles have the most impact on their lifestyle choices.

Growing evidence suggests disease spreads through social networks. According to a study which followed 12,000 people for 32 years, if you have a close friend who becomes obese, your chances of becoming obese increase by almost double.

Recent studies have shown that quitting smoking spreads through social networks. If your significant other quits you are half as likely to smoke.

The strength of the contagion depends on how close you live, and your relationship with the happy person. The strongest effect occurs if you have a happy friend who lives within 1.6km of you (25% increased chance of becoming happy).

And research confirms what we have always suspected – happiness is contagious. Your chances of becoming happier increase if you are surrounded by happy people.

In this time of lockdown, luckily we have technology at our disposal to stay connected with our friends and family. Some great ideas to stay connected and entertained are zoom trivia, cooking together on zoom or even just simple chat!

Be inspired by your friends and family. Or be an inspiration for your friends and family.