How important are your mates to you? Well according to research commissioned by Nivea, they’re vital for our health! (This is what the guy in charge, Professor Beattie, said anyway!) Yes, really – there’s scientific research to prove it. In fact, studies show not staying connected poses similar risks to your health as high blood pressure, obesity and even smoking – your friends really do have that much impact. Not only does a close group of friends act as a shoulder to cry on, a drinking network and provide entertainment on those nights where you just want to watch The X Factor and eat popcorn, it also can offer the following benefits:
- A healthier heart: close social contact helps lower blood pressure and overall risk of heart disease.
- Lower risk of cancer: one study found women without a strong social and emotional support network were nine times more likely to be diagnosed with a malignant breast tumour during routine screening.
- Better mental health: loneliness and social isolation are major risk factors for conditions ranging from depression and anxiety to Alzheimer’s disease.
There are probably several interlinking reasons for all this, say scientists, but whatever the reasons, it’s clear being close to others is as important for our health as getting our five-a-day and hitting the gym. So NIVEA are encouraging us all to value our relationships and prioritise ‘us time’ with our nearest and dearest with their ‘Million Moments of Closeness‘ campaign. To get involved you just have to upload photos of you with your mates, mum, siblings, partner or even dog, to the Nivea facebook page: facebook.com/niveauk
You can also look out for the roadshows happening over the summer where you can jump into a photo booth and have your picture instantly uploaded. But the best part is whether you share your photos on Facebook or at the roadshow, you’re in with the chance to win – every day! Professor Beattie will choose a picture of the day, and the winner will receive one of 100 prizes worth £100. That’s a pretty good reason to get snapping and play around on facebook a bit more!