Nivea have commissioned research by psychologist Professor Geoff Beattie as a barometer of closeness today – and the results show we’re closer than ever to our friends and families. That’s good news, as pals are vital for our health.
Yes, really - there’s scientific research to prove it. In fact, studies show not staying connected poses similar risks to your health as high blood pressure, obesity and even smoking – your friends really do have that much impact. Here are just a few of the key benefits of being close to others:
a healthier heart –close social contact helps lower blood pressure and overall risk of heart disease.
lower risk of cancer – one study found women without a strong social and emotional support network were nine times more likely to be diagnosed with a malignant breast tumour during routine screening.
better mental health – loneliness and social isolation are major risk factors for conditions ranging from depression and anxiety to Alzheimer’s disease.
There are probably several interlinking reasons for all this, say scientists. Lonely people are more likely to rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as smoking and excessive drinking. And, lacking the self-esteem boost we get from positive relationships, they may be less motivated to exercise and eat well. In addition, without someone to confide in during difficult times, the lonely may experience a build-up of stress that can have a direct physical impact, even accelerating the ageing process.
Whatever the reasons, it’s clear being close to others is as important for our health as getting our five-a-day and hitting the gym. So NIVEA are encouraging us all to value our relationships and prioritise ‘us time’ with our nearest and dearest.
In this spirit of healthy togetherness, demonstrate how close you are by taking part in NIVEA’s A Million Moments of Closeness – upload photos of you with your best friend, sibling, partner, parent or child at facebook.com/niveauk, or look out for our road shows, throughout the UK, where you can jump into a photo booth and have your picture instantly uploaded. Whether you share your photos on Facebook or at the roadshow, you’re in with the chance to win - every day, Professor Beattie will choose a picture of the day, and the winner will receive one of 100 prizes worth £100.
And join in their debate about closeness in 21st century Britain. Is friendship the best anti-depressant going? Can a text ever be as rewarding as a face-to-face chat? Is physical proximity essential for true closeness – or can a long-distance relationship work? Have your say on these and other questions in the Feel Closer debate at facebook.com/niveauk – and let’s value our closeness.
What do you think? I agree that in our era of social networking, it may seem easier than ever to stay in touch with our friends, but we also need face to face interactions, and to me, a text or email will never replace having a great in deep conversation with my friends.Viral video by ebuzzing