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7 ways your friends are good for your health

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012
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The health benefits of friends

We may get jealous of their new car or their fabulous designer boots, but jealousy aside we all love hanging out with our friends; whether we’re watching the game or having a gossip over a glass of vino.

Yet it turns out that our friends aren’t just fun, they also give us a much-needed boost to our health. Find out why your friends are good for your health:

Friends good for health: Gossip

Who doesn’t love whispering about that girl who slept with your colleague despite being engaged?

Everyone loves the cheap thrill that gossip gives us and now we know that gossiping with our friends actually has health benefits.

Researchers found that people feel better when they are able to gossip about someone who is behaving badly and when they get to warn others about deceit.

This kind of gossip is called ‘pro-social’ gossip and gossip it is thought to lower our stress levels.

Friends good for health: Weight

Although seeing our friends often involves coffees, beers and indulgent meals, research has found that our friends can help us stay slim and healthy.

A study published in PLOS ONE found that people who hung around with slim friends tended to be healthy and slim too, whilst those people who had overweight friends would typically gain weight.

The stronger your relationship is with your friends, the more likely you are to be similar in size and weight.

One of the researchers, Alexandra Brewis Slade, PhD, believes there is a correlation between friends’ weights and our own because we mirror the behaviour of our social circles.

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