What is the cost of loneliness?
We know that loneliness has an impact on our health. It can directly harm our physical and our mental health and can also make us more likely to engage in the kind of behaviours that are bad for us. Lonely people are more likely to exercise less, eat less healthily and are more disposed to smoke and drink heavily. Health and social care providers pay a cost for supporting people who are lonely and as a result are less healthy.
We also know that loneliness has an impact on our workplaces and our economy – employers aren’t able to recruit and retain the best talent as lonely employees feel excluded or isolated and leave jobs, sometimes the workforce completely.