Staying Connected Is Good for Your Health
Staying in touch with your friends and family isn’t just good you, it’s good for your health.
Social relationships affect your mental and physical health and mortality risk. Adults who are more socially connected are healthier and live longer than people who lead more isolated lives, according to a study from the National Institute of Health. People with fewer or less active social contacts are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cancer and delayed cancer recovery, slower wound healing, and mental health concerns. While social interaction isn’t the solution for medical problems, it seems strong social connections are good for you and your overall health.
Social interaction is essential because it keeps your mental and physical health in peak condition and boosts your immune system. And staying connected has never been easier. While in-person communication is a key component to social connection, many of us today are choosing to be social online through email, blogs, and sites such as Facebook. These platforms allow us to connect and share information with others no matter where we live and at any hour and also expand our group of friends. And as social media becomes more common in our daily lives, it’s clear that it also provides some health benefits.
According to research by Women’s Health Queensland, social media encourages health and well-being in four key areas:
Social media helps with social interaction. Social media can help you strengthen existing friendships and develop new relationships, and is especially helpful for people who are more isolated or living with illness or disability.
Social media builds communities. Facebook and other content-sharing sites connect people with shared interests, provide a valuable source of support, and can help us cope in difficult situations.
Social media encourages help-seeking behavior. People reluctant to seek help or talk about difficult situations, such as health concerns, often use online resources for advice and information since it is less threatening.
Social media promotes healthy lifestyle changes. Many people use social media as a motivational tool to help them achieve health goals such as quitting smoking or losing weight. Sharing this information online provides feedback and a network of support and encourages healthier living.
It’s for all these reasons, and many more, that Weeks Medical Center provides health resources via our monthly email newsletter and our recently launched Facebook page. These resources provide regular posts on hospital and community events, medical services, health information and presentations, and the hospital and medical staff. It’s how we’re trying to stay connected to you. The goals of our social media efforts are to share news and information with you (and let you share it with others); let us help you connect with your community; help you discover events, programs, and services you might be interested in; and keep you informed and up-to-date about the latest healthcare information.
So be social. Sign up for our email newsletter (see sign-up form at bottom of this page) and “like” our Facebook page at Facebook.com/weeksmedicalcenter. It’s good for your health.