Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Benefit of Social Medicine

"Social medicines" are beneficial to the health and wellbeing of individuals and the population. These include a stable family life, stress-free childhood, alcohol-free culture for young people, secure and rewarding employment, positive relationships with friends and neighbors, and a socially active old age. Researchers are releasing a guide to their research as part of the Economic and Social Research Council Festival of Social Science.

A stable family life where children have secure routines, including being read to and taken on outings by their parents, is more likely to result in them being ready to take in what will be offered at school (school-readiness). Getting a flying start at school is one of the most important pathways towards wellbeing later in life.

An environment free of constant bombardment with cigarette and alcohol advertisements helps adolescents avoid the first steps towards addiction.

People with more friends have higher levels of health and wellbeing -- and researchers have found this to be almost as important as avoiding smoking over the longer term. A supportive social network can make all the difference as people confront the problems of aging, helping them to maintain a high quality of life for many years.

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