Community and Health. Is there a Connection?

Why is it that we can conveniently access so many important things, like food, transport, entertainment, and technology, yet still be overwhelmed by a feeling of not having enough in our lives?

Our lives can be much easier nowadays with modern facilities, yet they can likewise take advantage of our interpersonal communications. Many people instead of having a nice lunch out with our families and friends prefer to speeding through the fast-food line in between home and work. We send out emails to friends and co-workers rather than meeting and discussing the matter over when looking each other in the eyes.

Isn’t it’s interesting to know just how much our health is affected by cutting the domestic and acquaintance connections that used to bind us so strongly? Good that this question can be answered. American scientists were also curious to know it and conducted a research about half a century years ago. They decided to investigate a community of Italian-American immigrants Roseto, Pennsylvania. These people were very poor at that time, however shared most of the same eating habits and values.

The Roseto study located that individuals in this specific community normally had longer life length and were generally much healthier than their neighboring communities even including  danger factors such as cigarette smoking and lack of everyday exercise.

By maintaining strong communication level with individuals in their community, and especially in a household, citizens of Roseto were able to have healthy and balanced bodies and lives. But once these strong ties lost their importance and inhabitants of Roseto started taking on “alone” habits of people from bordering areas, their health started to wear away little by little.

The conclusion was not that this group of people was in some way different compared to various other areas, but there undoubtedly was a strong link between community and health of its representatives.

Fundamentally, basic feelings as love and care can have a direct favourable impact on our health and wellness even if we have bad habits. This can also be seen in animals where species who take care of each other live longer lives.

Also if you have a small family or live in a village, you can still have these personal connections – you simply need to create them yourself and be creative. Regular routine tasks can be performed to make these connections.

So instead of rushing through the fast-food lane to buy your early morning breakfast, try having an outing with your colleagues or close friends. By saving time to talk with others, you create strong bond with them.

Unless we preserve natural and friendly family or community connections, we risk to harm and even shorten our lives. Nonetheless, it is also equally important to have time for yourself, as thinking will help us recognize who we are and what we need in this life.

It is highly recommended to consider individual connections as an important part of healthy and balanced living, just like nutritious dishes and physical activities.

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