Britons are becoming more unhealthy because almost half of us socialise with family and friends only once a month, new research shows
- A lack of human interaction is causing Britons’ sense of wellbeing to dwindle
- Researchers asked 8,000 people about their sex lives, quality of sleep and jobs
- Average ‘wellbeing score’ of 60.4 out of 100 – 0.38 points lower than last year
Published: 01:42 BST, 17 June 2019 | Updated: 01:42 BST, 17 June 2019
Nearly half of Britons socialise with family and friends only once a month or less, according to a survey.
And the lack of human interaction is causing the nation’s sense of wellbeing to dwindle, the researchers said.
They asked 8,000 people about everything from their sex lives, quality of sleep, finances, relationships and jobs, finding an average ‘wellbeing score’ of 60.4 out of 100.
The figure is 0.38 points lower than last year, which the Sainsbury’s-commissioned report found was equivalent to a wellbeing decline associated with a £260 fall in the average monthly income.
The lack of human interaction is causing the nation’s sense of wellbeing to dwindle, the researchers said (file image)
Nearly one in ten (9.1 per cent) people said they never meet socially with friends, relatives or co-workers, while 21.4 per cent said they did so less than once a month.
A further 17.5 per cent only socialised once a month, according to the survey.
Sainsbury’s carried out the report in partnership with the National Centre for Social Research and Oxford Economics.
It said the results prompted a scheme to offer its 178,000 employees the opportunity to spend a day volunteering under its 150 Days of Community initiative.
Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s retail and operations director, said: ‘Our ambition is to help our customers to live well for less – it’s been at the heart of the company since we began 150 years ago.
‘Sainsbury’s Living Well Index has found that over the last 12 months there has been a decline of the sense of community the nation feels as a whole, which has had a significant impact on our sense of well-being.’
Nearly one in ten (9.1 per cent) people said they never meet socially with friends, relatives or co-workers, while 21.4 per cent said they did so less than once a month (file image)
The volunteering scheme will ‘help bring back a sense of community for our customers and colleagues’, he added.
Working baby boomers’ index scores fell ‘dramatically’ – by 1.76 points on average – in the last 12 months, more than four times the average.
Authors of the study said the ‘key driver’ was a decline in social connections (down 0.36 points) and relationships (0.29 points).
In total the overall score for June 2019 was almost a full point lower than in autumn 2017, when the first index was published.
People were asked about a total of 60 different aspects of their lives.