Published: Sat, May 05, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

A new survey shows many young Americans are lonely

A new survey shows many young Americans are lonely

Indeed, the survey showed that those who felt less lonely and had more personal interactions on a day-to-day basis were in better overall health. However, this does not hold true for single parents or guardians, who report to feel lonelier than the other adults who live alone.

Mental health experts say the Cigna study is only the latest in a series to document rising levels of loneliness and related public health effects.

The young adults were asked a few questions for the survey and were given a loneliness score on a 20 to 80 scale.

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Contrary to popular belief, the study found under-22-year-olds feel far more isolated than the elderly, but social media use did not affect their feelings of isolation, as many are want to believe. These included less frequent and meaningful in-person interactions; spending less time with family and the feeling of having poor social skills or relationships.

'We're seeing a lack of human connection, which ultimately leads to a lack of vitality - or a disconnect between mind and body, ' said David M. Cordani, president and chief executive officer of Cigna.

48 percent say they sometimes or always feel that no one really knows them well.

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University at Buffalo Chair of Psychiatry Michael Cummings says if you're feeling lonely, basic social exercises like going out to eat with friends and being out where you're comfortable can go a long way toward taking steps for your health. People with 43 or more points were considered to be lonely.

The most powerful antidotes to loneliness were sleep, family time, physical activity and not overworking.

"We view a person's physical, mental and social health as being entirely connected", Mr. Cordani said.

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Most Hartford area adults are considered lonely, mirroring the broader US population, according to results of a national loneliness survey released by Bloomfield-based health insurer Cigna.

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