Recent research was carried out to know more about how crucial are social interactions to a healthy lifestyle across humans and other mammals. Findings from that research were later published in the study, “Social determinants of health and survival in humans and other animals”
it was known that more social mammals, be it animals or humans, are known to have a longer lifespan and stay healthy for the better part of their life. According to Jenny Tung, who is a co-author of the study, similar results are also seen in a few non-mammals.
A few animals were put under observation such as Macaques, blue monkeys, bottlenose dolphins, orcas, bighorn sheep, wild horses, and rock hyraxes. It was discovered that those amongst these who were more socially integrated had a better chance for survival.
The research team even consulted a previously conducted study in which the test animals were put through an environment change, only to find out that the change resulted in those animals having a higher risk of chronic stress, increased inflammation, tumor-like conditions, and symptoms similar to heart disease.
The study is published during the times when the world is going through a phase of social isolation. Studies indicate that those who socially isolate themselves are more vulnerable to stroke, asthma, heart disease, and bronchitis. And as far as SARS-CoV-2 is concerned, it targets the respiratory tracks. With a recent hype in social isolation, people are already vulnerable to bronchitis, leaving them even more vulnerable to COVID-19.
The research shows that practicing social isolation may not be the best way to defeat the pandemic. It does lower your chances of catching the disease while raising them at the same time.
Social isolation even disrupts your sleeping pattern and worsens your mental health.
Socializing is an important aspect of a mammal’s life. When baboons were put under observation it was seen that they prioritized socializing under all circumstances, even when environmental conditions did not fall in their favor.
According to Jenny, socializing is not something we should be pursuing as a free-time hobby.
Original Published in https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6493/eaax9553