Quiz: Do You Know the Health Benefits of Friendship?

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    Question 1/8

    When you're older, having a lot of friends may help you live longer.

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    Answer 1/8

    When you're older, having a lot of friends may help you live longer.

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    A large circle of friends may add years to your life. One study found people with many chums had a 22% better chance of living through the 10-year period of the study than those with only a few buddies. Good friends often encourage you to make healthy choices, like staying active. They can squash stress, too.

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    Question 2/8

    Loneliness is as harmful to your health as:

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    Answer 2/8

    Loneliness is as harmful to your health as:

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    Loneliness doesn’t just feel bad. It’s actually bad for you. Researchers at Brigham Young University found that having few friends is as dangerous for you as smoking more than a pack a day or drinking heavily. And it can actually be worse for you than being obese or a couch potato. 

    The connection’s not clear, but a strong social network can reduce your risk of stress and depression. When you’re feeling good, you’re more likely to take care of yourself.

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    Question 3/8

    Your pets can help you make (and keep) friends.

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    Answer 3/8

    Your pets can help you make (and keep) friends.

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    Pets aren’t just great companions. They can actually help you meet human pals, too. One study says people who own dogs, cats, or even other animals like rabbits and birds are more likely to know the folks in their neighborhood. They also get more advice and support from people they meet through their pets.

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    Answer 4/8

    When it comes to friendships, which is more important?

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    Close friends give you support. That lowers stress. Casual connections are important, too. Hang out with folks like work friends, neighbors, and fellow church members. It’ll keep you from getting lonely. You’ll also be more active.

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    Question 5/8

    If your close friend becomes happy, your chances of feeling the same way go up:

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    Answer 5/8

    If your close friend becomes happy, your chances of feeling the same way go up:

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    You know someone else’s bad mood can rub off on you. But your friends’ happiness is contagious, too. One possible reason? Happy people might spread their good fortune, say researchers.

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    Question 6/8

    Loneliness can lead to memory loss.

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    Answer 6/8

    Loneliness can lead to memory loss.

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    Being around people gets our minds working in many different ways. It challenges us, too. If you can, spend time with friends and family. But even support from people you’re not close with, like a caregiver or neighbor, can help keep your brain sharp.

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    Answer 7/8

    Friendship can:

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    Friendship can help keep you healthy in the short run, too. Having pals lowers stress, which has a positive impact on your heart, gut, and even your immune system. One study found that people who had lots of social ties were four times less likely to get a cold virus than those with few social relationships.

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    Question 8/8

    Friends who live far away don’t help your health as much as those who live close by.

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    Answer 8/8

    Friends who live far away don’t help your health as much as those who live close by.

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    If your closest pals don’t live all that close, don’t stress. Research shows that distance doesn’t harm friendship strength or benefits. A phone call to a friend can make you feel connected. And that can combat both loneliness and stress.

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    Great job! You’re really in tune with the power of friendship.

    Not bad, but ask your friends for help and try again.

    Phone a friend (or two). They can help you with the quiz -- and your health.

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