Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Positive Friendships in Usana Could Lead to a Longer Life


"Social ties are a significant predictor of mortality risk," according to Teresa Seeman at Yale University, Jack Guralik at the National Institutes of Health and their colleagues.

I'm stretching the headline a little, but consider some of the latest studies, reported in the Winnipeg Free Press recently, by Robert Alison, PhD in zoology, concerning social networking, health and longevity.

According to studies by Nicolas Christakis of Harvard University, the happiness of an individual is related to the happiness of his or her friends, and their friends' friends. Happy people occupy a central position in social networks, framed by clusters of other happy people, the researchers report.

"Each additional happy friend increases a person's probability of being happy by about nine per cent," they conclude. Several studies confirm social integration, attachments and social networking are inextricably linked with life span and health.
On the other side, people who are socially isolated have shorter lifespans and are at much higher risk of contracting diseases, researchers say.

Think how that could affect you in your Usana business. As you introduce someone to Usana, you then get to meet their friends and then their friends, and so on. We find that people in Usana are very positive minded. They are more likely to be in the gyms and playing sports of some sort. They are more focussed on activities that add to their health and happiness. That joyful spirit spreads to everyone around them.

On the negative side, research by Bruce Sacerdote at Dartmouth College, and others, shows that clusters of friends "infect" each other with obesity and unhappiness. Friends comprising social groups often become obese simultaneously, and according to researchers, an individual is 57 per cent more apt to become obese if friends are obese.

Extensive research by Lisa Berkman at the Harvard School of Public Health, found that "the degree to which an individual is interconnected and embedded" in a social network is vital to one's health.

"Social integration and cohesion influence mortality," she says, "Social facts explain disease patterns, especially serious diseases."

I can't help but think of sites like Facebook, where people interact with friends and then meet other people's friends. As long as the conversation is positive, perhaps this is good for a person's health and lifespan.

The way that Usana Associates can foster more positive friendships is to create social gatherings for their teams, and then attend local and national Usana functions.

I remember reading once how hugs are therapeutic.....so be sure to hug someone at the next Usana function and give them a word of encouragement! It might add more years to your life and theirs too.

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