DLW is an occasional blog about how people spend the time of their lives (every moment) to enable health, balance, meaning and fulfillment. As a blogspot about doing, it draws from personal stories and from studies of everyday living. It's main idea is that to be well, people must be involved fully in what they do. The activities that occupy our days help to connect us to the world, define who we are, and keep us healthy.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Your friends and their friends may influence your health

I recently came across an excellent TED (Technology, Education and Design) Lecture given by Harvard Social Epidemiologist Nicholas Christakis. His work over the past 15 years has shown very interesting relationships between who we know and the state of our health. His work is not about understanding how influenza or other contagious diseases get transmitted, but rather how social connections in general seem to influence the state of our health. For example, Christakis has found that if your friend's friend is obese (even someone you have never met), it increases your risk of also being obese by a rather surprising percentage. That percentage decreases as the social connections become more distant, but the findings are rather surprising and worthy of significant additional scrutiny. Christakis continues to unravel the explanations behind his interesting findings, but suggests that one clear implication is that we can all benefit each other by recognizing that attending to our own health and well-being can have an impact well beyond our lives and the lives of those closest to us. Be intrigued, see Christakis' lecture here.

About Me

I am a writer, lifelong student, former academic and new blogger. My passion continues to be everyday living. I am interested in what people do, how, when and why they do it, and what it means for their their understanding of the world and hence, their well being.