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Quiz: Do you know the health benefits of friendship?

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Having lots of friends can:

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Having lots of friends can:

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  • Correct Answer:

Being a social butterfly with lots of friends may increase your lifespan by up to 22%, according to one study. While there’s no evidence that more friends can improve specific things like muscle mass, they may encourage you to make healthy choices, like being active and staying in shape. Spending time with others also wards off the stress and anxiety associated with loneliness. 

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Being lonely can harm your health as much as:

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Being lonely can harm your health as much as:

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According to research, being lonely is as harmful to your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or drinking heavily. It’s also worse than being obese and increases your risk of high blood pressure and depression.

Having a pet can:

Having a pet can:

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Pets are well-known for keeping you company and fending off loneliness – but research suggests they can encourage human friendships too. One survey showed that owners of dogs in particular, are more likely to become friendly with their neighbours. In fact, they were 61% more likely to get to know new friends than pet-free people. While man’s best friends are the top ice-breakers, the survey suggest other pets may help with friendships too, from cats and rabbits, to pet snakes. 

In general, people have how many close friendships?

In general, people have how many close friendships?

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  • Correct Answer:

According to a theory called the Dunbar Number humans have limits on how many friendships they can sustain. On average, people have about 150 friends in their social group, but only about 15 of those are close, long-term confidantes. The rest are more casual acquaintances.  Recent testing of this theory found the same thing – despite social media and multiple online 'friends'. Each type of friendship plays a role. You may get support and stress relief from a close friend, while work colleagues, neighbours and online friends also keep you connected, active and engaged.  

A friendship study found, compared with the past, young people are now: 

A friendship study found, compared with the past, young people are now: 

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Amid concerns that social media may make teens and students more disconnected than in the past, a recent US study suggests the opposite is true. While young people reported having fewer friends in their social network, they claimed to feel more secure in those relationships and less lonely. Scientists believe this may be because modern society has made people more independent. 

Having friends can give which of these a boost?

Having friends can give which of these a boost?

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  • Correct Answer:

Research suggests that socialising helps to 'exercise' the brain. A study published in 2008 in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin suggested that when people engage socially and mentally with other people - it gives a boost to their brain. Another study in 2016 in BMC Psychology found that people who were sociable through their life seemed to have better thinking skills when they were aged 50 than those who were more isolated.

Good friendships have health benefits that include:

Good friendships have health benefits that include:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Having good friends benefits your health in the short- and long-term.  Friends help reduce stress, which has knock-on benefits for your heart health and even your immune system. One study found that people who were more social were four times less likely to get a cold than those with fewer social connections.  

Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
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Well done! You’re obviously the friendly type.

OK, but you may need a BFF to help you do better.

Not great. Phone a friend and try again.

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