Know your neighbours - Contact is good for us

Neighbourliness can help your health, according to the latest scientific evidence.

Enjoying a good social life with friends and neighbours can improve a person’s chance of survival by as much as 50%, according to the study conducted by an American university.

Having little social interaction with friends and neighbours, on the other hand, can be as harmful to the body as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It is not only as harmful as not getting any exercise but twice as bad as the risks posed by obesity.

The study concluded that family and friends influence health for the better in many ways.

The findings enhance the importance of the Know You Neighbour campaign run by Macra na Feirme, which recently held its fifth annual weekend. That worthy campaign deserves the warmest commendation.

Good relationships benefit people throughout their lives, from the cradle to the grave. Such relationships are doubly blessed, because they benefits everybody taking part. The sense of purpose felt by individuals in taking responsibility for other people translates into taking better care of themselves.

It is important that people realise that personal isolation can be damaging to their health. Social contact is not just a personal nicety; it is a social necessity and should be recognised as such.


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