Turns out, being social really may be able to influence how long you live—and there's research to prove it. According to a study conducted at Brigham-Young University, loneliness and isolation can have a bigger impact on your life span than obesity
—and we all know how bad obesity is for us. Another study
from BYU and University of Chapel Hill North Carolina found that people who had fewer social connections had a 50% higher risk of dying within the seven year study follow up period.
And, says Horstman in her book, research has shown that friendships, whether those friends are near or far, increase our chances for a long, healthy life more so than children or other relatives.