Academics from Oxford University have conducted very valuable research — that may or may not have involved a pub crawl — to reveal what drinkers have always known: Living near a hostelry makes you happier.
A British beer campaign group was quick to raise a toast to the study which found that regulars with a local pub nearby are “significantly” happier, have more friends, better life satisfaction, and actually drink more moderately than those who have to travel further afield for their tipple.
Researchers found that the smaller the pub, the less alcohol you consume and the longer your conversations. They said going to the pub and meeting people makes us feel happier than staying at home watching TV or socialising online.
The report, conducted in Oxfordshire for the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), highlighted the importance of face-to-face interaction.
It found that social skills improve after a drink, with people more likely to be engaged in conversations in small community pubs rather than larger establishments.
The study found pubs played an integral role in providing venues where people could meet and make friends.
The report, by Prof Robin Dunbar, emphasises the importance of a local, where people are part of a community and more likely to drink in moderation.
“A limited alcohol intake improves wellbeing and some social skills, just as it has been shown to improve other cognitive abilities and health, but these abilities decline as alcohol intake increases beyond a moderate level,” he said.
Friendship and community are probably the two most important factors influencing our health and wellbeing. “Making and maintaining friendships, however, is something that has to be done face-to-face. The digital world is simply no substitute.”
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