Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Friendship is good medicine

Sorry if my blogging is a bit bitty at the moment. And sorry when it doesn't actually happen at all. I'm back studying and, wow, do I have a lot of work! But it's all fun stuff I'm doing so hopefully I'll get time to share some of it with you.

As part of the research for one of my briefs, I've been thinking about friendship and looking at ways it impacts our lives. I came across these statistics and thought you may find them interesting.

Did you know?
  • You will go through 396 friends in a lifetime but will have only 33 at any one time.
    Source: flatrock.org
  • In one study, those who had the most friends over a 9-year period cut their risk of death by more than 60%.
    Source: anapsid.org
  • Dr. Dean Ornish, a pioneer in reversing heart disease, notes that no other factor in medicine - ''not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery - has a greater effect on how often we get sick than the healing power of love.''
    Source: capecodonline.com
  • People with a strong social network are more likely to survive a major illness such as a heart attack or cancer. Human companionship can also help reduce the effects of stress on the body, protect against illness, and help us heal
    when we do get sick. They're also less susceptible to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis.
    Source: capecodonline.com

Now I have to admit, I have no idea how reliable these sources are. But, to me, most of these claims seem believable. Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

How would you define "friend" though? I'm sure no one ever has 33of what I think of as friends - I currently have four, I think. But then obviously it doesn't just mean aquaintance.
And just so you don't delete this, I'm Patience!

Suzanne said...

If you're talking about close friends than I totally agree - I have nowhere near 33 either! I guess it depends how the study is defining friends.

Anonymous said...

But it would also be interesting to know whether all these studies define friend in the same way - I suspect not. So putting them all together may be a little statistically misleading. But then, you are an arts student!

Suzanne said...

That too is true. Thanks for pointing it out :) And don't start making digs at art students...or else!