Please say hello to your neighbour!

By Dr. Joanie Sims-Gould

sitting on bench

Sure our ASAP research team is interested in the intersection between health (physical and social), mobility (getting around) and the built environment (features of your neighbourhood) but we are also equally interested in being good citizens.  To us this means conducting sound scientific research and it also means giving back; giving back by hosting research related events and by synthesizing relevant cutting edge research and information in this blog.  We hope to help make sense of what we are learning in a way that is meaningful to you.  So here goes a synthesis of some new health research.

In a recent article in the Globe and Mail it was cited that researchers found that the quality of our social connections can have a major impact on our health.  According to the article “people who experience long periods of loneliness have been found to develop serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease, dementia and decreased mobility, at much higher rates than people who don’t feel isolated”. Social isolation can actually change the way our brains function.  Loneliness is the new smoking.

So next time you are out for a walk or you are waiting for a bus, stop and say hello – you never know, you could be saving a life.

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