Guest blog: The Group is the Cure

This guest blog was written by Professor Catherine Haslam, recently of Exeter University and now at the University of Queensland, Australia.

Despite living in a world that claims to value its social relationships, we still have a blind spot when it comes to harnessing these relationships in protecting our health and well-being.

Our tendency is to rely primarily on medical and technological advance, but we know now that we do so at our peril if we fail to build our social networks at the same time.

Belonging to social groups and networks — whether they involve family, friends, work colleagues, or other relationships — has been shown, in numerous studies, to be an important predictor of health; just as important as diet and exercise.

The Social Effect

When Holt-Lunstad and colleagues evaluated this collection of research in their meta-analysis, they found that the magnitude of the effect of social relationships on mortality was comparable to quitting smoking, and exceeded that for obesity, high blood pressure, and physical inactivity. Continue reading “Guest blog: The Group is the Cure”