If you’ve ever worked in an office environment, you’ve probably heard “sitting is the new smoking.” Being sedentary most of the time, as compared to standing and moving regularly, is said to be as detrimental to one’s health as smoking cigarettes. Just as smoking evolved from a seemingly harmless cultural norm to known health threat, supporters of this theory suggest traditional seated work areas might eventually become as rare as ash trays in conference rooms are today.
Well, according to the May-June issue of American Society on Aging’s “Aging Today”, loneliness – not sitting – actually is “the new smoking.” In fact, loneliness and social isolation have been linked to quantifiable negative health impacts of similar magnitude as smoking.
One article1, written by two geriatric physicians, highlights the severity and types of health risks:
“Prevalence rates of loneliness in the United States ….. are a significant risk factor for premature mortality, with health effects comparable to smoking.”
“In addition to premature mortality, various studies examining loneliness and isolation have demonstrated an association with worsened diabetes, increased risk of cardiovascular mortality, dementia prevalence and loss of independence.”
The good news? We have the power to thwart social isolation and associated health risks, at least among our own loved ones. Many of us, however, lack the time to do so. We tend to take on more and more responsibilities despite the very finite hours available to us, which can leave us exhausted, burnt-out and even facing our own health battles.
You don’t have to do everything yourself! Give yourself permission to accept help and stop compromising. Whether you regret not having time to visit your elderly mother every day, have put your own life on hold to care for your ailing dad, or are completely stressed about your grandparents still driving themselves all over town, Full Heart Home Care can help. We provide exceptional care so you and your family can live life without compromise. Contact us today to schedule your no-obligation consultation.
1Zeroing in on Social Isolation and Loneliness – Boosting Social Capital, Dr. Ashwin Kotwal and Dr. Carla Perissinotto.