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This is how long it takes to start feeling lonely, according to scientists

This video is part of: Centre for Health and Healthcare

Researchers have delved into the intricacies of loneliness, uncovering that individuals typically don't experience feelings of isolation until they spend at least 75% of their time alone. This revelation emerged from a study conducted by University of Arizona scientists, who meticulously examined data on 400 individuals, correlating their time spent alone with the frequency of loneliness they reported.

Varied experiences of feeling lonely

The study highlighted the critical distinction between aloneness and loneliness, particularly among younger individuals. While some may feel lonely amidst a crowd, others find solace in solitude. However, for older adults, the relationship between aloneness and loneliness intensifies, emphasizing the growing significance of companionship as we age.

The social fabric and loneliness

As we age, our social networks tend to shrink, making it increasingly challenging to maintain social connections. This decline in socialization can exacerbate feelings of loneliness, particularly among older individuals. Recognizing the far-reaching impact of loneliness, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated it a 'global public health concern', prompting the launch of a three-year commission dedicated to fostering social connection.

Loneliness: A global challenge

The Global Risks Report 2023 underscores the severity of mental health deterioration, which encompasses the distress caused by loneliness, ranking it among the top 25 risks confronting the world today. The World Economic Forum's Centre for Health and Healthcare is actively identifying and scaling up solutions to strengthen healthcare systems, ensuring their resilience, efficiency, and equitable accessibility.

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