Numerous studies have shown that the stress of loneliness is responsible for an innumerable of health problems that affect us even at a cellular level.

According to research presented at the 125th annual convention of the American Psychological Association, loneliness and social anomie could be a greater public health hazard than obesity.

Social isolation indicates a lack of contact with other people.

Lead author Dr Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Professor of Psychology at Brigham Young University, Utah, said being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need—crucial to both well-being and survival.

“Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment.

“Yet an increasing portion of the U.S. population now experiences loneliness regularly.

She added that community planners should make sure to include shared social spaces that promote gathering and interchange, such as diversion centers and community gardens.

In 2015 Holt-Lunstad published an innovative study on health effects of loneliness. That study says, social isolation, loneliness or living alone increased the risk of untimely death by, respectively, 29%, 26%, and 32%.

Through the research, they concluded that these three factors have a meaningful and a similar effect on risks of early death. Therefore, loneliness is worse than obesity..

So make sure you get out a bit more, and talk to your friends and colleagues more oftentimes – it’s good for your health.