I wrote about America’s loneliness epidemic for the Sacramento Bee in March. In brief: loneliness kills. Health insurer Cigna today released a new study of more than 20,000 U.S. adults ages 18 years and older that provides additional data on the scope of the problem. Among the findings:
- Nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone (46 percent) or left out (47 percent).
- One in four Americans (27 percent) rarely or never feel as though there are people who really understand them.
- Two in five Americans sometimes or always feel that their relationships are not meaningful (43 percent) and that they are isolated from others (43 percent).
- One in five say they rarely or never feel close to people (20 percent) or feel like there are people they can talk to (18 percent).
- Only around half of Americans (53 percent) have meaningful in-person social interactions, such as having an extended conversation with a friend or spending quality time with family, on a daily basis.
- Generation Z (adults ages 18-22) is the loneliest generation and claims to be in worse health than older generations.
The survey’s authors suggest some solutions, mostly focused on the workplace. Moderate social media time. Balance work and life. Sleep more. Above all, try to have more face-to-face interaction with other humans. We’re all in this thing together.