Saturday, 21 Feb, 2009 Health & Fitness

Lonely People Have Weak Health


Psychologists affirm that loneliness is not less dangerous for a person than smoking and overweight.

The lack of relationships with other people not only makes us unhappy, but also influences negatively on our body and mind. These are the last scientific facts, received during a research.

The feeling of rejection or isolation increases the blood pressure, the level of stress and the general level of tiredness. It also increases the risk of the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Besides, this feeling decreases the strength of one's will and insistence, which is reflected later on the capability of leading a healthy lifestyle, scientists report.

The received results were presented by Professor John Kacioppo from the University of Chicago in the annual conference of the American Association Favouring Science Development.

According to Professor Kacioppo, loneliness not only leads to changes in behaviour, but it is also related to the development of the normal blood flow's resistance through the cardiovascular system.

Loneliness leads to the morning increase of the stress hormone's level (cortisol), which, in its turn, has its influence on the immune system, raising blood pressure and leading to the development of depression.

Loneliness or social isolation also cause sleep disturbances and a quick progression of Alzheimer's disease.

The professor affirms that the difference between a lonely and a socially popular man is similar to the difference between "a smoker and a non-smoker".

"This discovery has totally surprised us all – me and my colleagues – because of the consequences brought about by loneliness. This fact shows how important human communication is for every one of us", he says.

"Lonely people, as a rule, have a weak health. They rarely make physical exercises and consume more calories. In order to feel comfortable, they eat more sweet and fat food. Loneliness also decreases the capability of self-control. It is very easy for these people to have 2 or 3 drinks of alcohol at the end of a bad day", the professor added.

Professor Kacioppo is the founder of a new subject, called social neurology. According to him, the human necessity in other people has deep evolutional roots.

In the past, in order to survive people had to cooperate, besides it was easier for them to raise their children in this way. This is how, during the process of evolution, loneliness became a "signal" to action, to the necessity of repairing social relationships, just like physical pain is a signal of the necessity not to touch fire for example.

Posted by summer_rain

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