Research Suggests a Positive Correlation between Social Interaction and Health
Human Beings are Social Creatures: According to the National Institute on Aging, there studies have shown a strong correlation between social interaction and health and well-being among older adults and have suggested that social isolation may have significant adverse effects for older adults.
- Social relationships are consistently associated with biomarkers of health.
- Positive indicators of social well-being may be associated with lower levels of interleukin-6 in otherwise healthy people. Interleukin-6 is an inflammatory factor implicated in age-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and some forms of cancer.
Steve Cole, Ph.D., director of the Social Genomics Core Laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles with NIA-supported research shows that having a sense of mission and purpose in life is linked to healthier immune cells. Helping others through caregiving or volunteering also helps people feel less lonely.
“Working for a social cause or purpose with others who share your values and are trusted partners puts you in contact with others and helps develop a greater sense of community,” he noted.