Your social network might influence your health, because research has found that a person is generally as healthy as his or her family members or closest friends. The Framington Heart Study followed a group of 12,067 people in Framington, Massachusetts, from 1971 through 2003, and it found that both positive and negative health behaviors were similar among people within social networks. People who quit smoking were 36% more likely to be successful if a close friend also quit and were 67% more likely to quit if their spouses also did. Obesity was influenced by social network as well, with people being 57% more likely to be obese if a close friend also was obese.
More about social network influence:
- Eating with a group of seven people or more increases the amount of food a person consumes by 96% compared with eating alone.
- People are 8% more likely to feel happy if their spouses report feeling happy and 14% more likely if their siblings are happy.
- About 45% of all new hires are people who had a recommendation from someone already working at the company.