Scientists have long been keen to prove that love brings huge health benefits. Researchers have always been keen to find evidence that LOVE – in it’s widest definition of kinship and caring – can fight disease, boost immunity, and lower stress.
The health benefits of ‘love ‘:
Here’s what The Studies say that Love does. It:
- Protects against heart disease – A University of Pittsburgh study found that women in good marriages have a much lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those in high-stress relationships.
- Helps you live longer –The National Longitudinal Mortality Study, which has been tracking more than a million subjects since 1979, shows that – compared to singles – married people live longer, have fewer heart attacks and experience lower cancer rates.
- Helps beat cancer– A University of Iowa research project looked at white blood cells in patients with a strong sense of connection to others and in satisfying relationships with those who did not have those social ties. It found that the former group had more vigorous “natural killer” (white) cell activity at the site of the tumour.
- Lowers blood pressure – Doctors at the University of North Carolina found that hugging may dramatically lower blood pressure and boost blood levels of the relaxing hormone, oxytocin.
Loving tips for good health
- Get hugging!
The more you hug, the better. Hugging can, in fact, have a similar effect o many leading blood pressure lowering drugs.: Women who hugged the most on a daily basis were found to have the highest oxytocin levels, and lower blood pressures. Kathleen Light, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at UNC and one of the study’s authors commented on their findings: “Getting more daily hugs from their husbands was related to higher oxytocin, and so the hugs were indirectly related to lower blood pressure.”
- Connect Emotionally
Researchers from the University of Sheffield in England interviewed 28 participants who had been married at least 20 years and found that a consistent sex life continued to be important throughout marriage. Whilst a contented sex life may make women healthier by making relationships happier,
Experts are quick to point out that sex is only one aspect of connection, and not as powerful as the real magic in relationships: bonding. That sense of being united is a trait that Brian Baker, a psychiatrist at the University of Toronto, calls cohesion. And his research has found that it’s more important to both health and happiness than a good sex life.
In one study, he tracked 229 adults who were under job strain. Though they had higher blood pressure at the start, spouses in pleasurable marriages actually lowered systolic blood pressure by 2.5 mm/Hg over a 12-month period.
Baker says that sex is “only one component of satisfaction….couples who had less sex didn’t seem to have any less sense of cohesion, and it was their emotional collaboration—their partnership—that kept the marriage strong.”
Improving workplace health
Developing bonds and promoting a belonging to the team have long been known to improve productivity but in addition, extending the thinking about the importance of bonding would clearly point to similar positive affects for workplace health.
Leading occupational health providers, Medigold Health, can work alongside your staff to help them become more resilient to whatever pressures they may be facing.