How does loneliness affect our health?

Everyone feels lonely every once in awhile, but did you know that loneliness increases your risk of dying prematurely? Research has found that a lack of meaningful social connections has a physical and mental health impact greater than or equal to obesity. The problem is especially common in men, older people, single parents and single people. And having lots of social media followers, acquaintances or even a partner doesn’t make you immune – it’s only meaningful, supportive relationships that count.

Dr Roger Patulny, a sociologist from the University of Wollongong, discussed why loneliness is so bad for our health, and the impact that technology, work, living in public housing and owning a cat can have on our social life.

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