Face-to-face contact improves our health

Courtesy Bill Gross – idea labs 

Susan Pinker gave a great talk showing how different parts of your brain light up with human contact, but only face-to-face contact and interaction engaged the brain that way. 

Passively watching a video didn’t do the same thing.

 She studied a small village in Sardinia where the population has an above-average number of centinarians, male and female, which she attributes in part to the constant/close personal interactions of the villagers.

She showed this graph of staying alive:

Social integration and close relationships topped the list, even above smoking, drinking, exercise, being overweight, and clean air! 

She said that genes account for 25% of the variance in longevity, and lifestyle accounts for 75%. 

She said that women live longer than men because they are more likely to prioritize close, in-person friendships. 

She urged people to “build your village, it’s actually a matter of life and death.”

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