"The quality of a person's social life could have an even greater impact than diet and exercise on their health and well-being. There is growing evidence that being a member of a social group can significantly reduce the risk of conditions like stroke, dementia and even the common cold. New research by the Universities of Exeter and Queensland, Australia, shows that membership of social groups has a positive impact on health and well-being". (American Physiological Society (2009, September 13).
In the past we have seen groups to be of great benefits for people's mental health. Support groups and therapy groups are accessed by many therapists who want their clients to improve using more than one pathway.
It is amazing to see that not just one's mental health, but also one's physical health is positively influenced by belonging to a social group. Have a look at the category 'happiness' and you'll find more information about the importance of social contact.
Being preprogrammed to seek social groups is not only a matter of mental and physical health, is also gives people a sense of identity. Examples of this are national sport teams, volunteer groups, rotary groups, green peace, to name just a few. Belonging to a social group not only informs us and other about who we are, it also gives meaning to people's lives and seems to be vital for leading a fulfilling existance.
The verdict is out: Groups are crucial for mental and physical health and overall well-being.
It would be great if the medical community would give recognition to the vast amount of studies that clearly identify the vital role participation in a group has on people's quality of life.