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Chatting to colleagues, neighbours and other parents on the playground benefits people's wellbeing just as much as close friendships, new research suggests.
Regularly interacting with acquaintances prevents lung function decline just as much as having strong partner, family or friend relationships, a study found. Lung function is a marker of health and longevity.
Study - Author - Professor - Sheldon - Cohen
Study author Professor Sheldon Cohen, from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, said: 'Low-intimacy roles, like being a volunteer, were as equally effective in protecting lung function as high-intimacy ones, like having a spouse, which highlights the big impact a wide social network can make on your health'.
Researchers believe such interactions protect against stress and encourage people to lead healthier lifestyles.
How the research was carried out
The researchers analysed more than 4,000 people aged between 52 and 94.
Participants - Lung - Function - Start - Study
The participants' lung function was assessed at the start of the study and four years later.
At least once a month, the participants were asked to report on their social interactions.
'Every social role protects you more'
Results suggest that the more interactions a person has, the better their lung...
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