Time to reconnect: Why seeing friends is good for your health

SHUFL shuffleboard the Box Leeds
27th Mai 2021Research & Insights

Starved of social contact for the best part of a year, we’ve all experienced the devastating effect of not being able to meet up with friends on our mental health. While everyone subconsciously knows that seeing friends is good for your health, now there’s scientific proof that nurturing and taking an active role investing in your friendships means not only a happier but longer life.

A fascinating new book Friends: Understanding the Power of our Most Important Relationships by Robin Dunbar,emeritus professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University, demonstrates that seeing friends is good for our health, happiness and even an indicator of how long we will live. Dunbar advocates having at least five close friends to optimise wellbeing and health with 150 being the number of stable social relationships that the average human brain can maintain.  He also describes the brain’s reaction when meeting old friends as ‘euphoric’.

So, there you have it, scientific proof that releasing feel-good endorphins by engaging in a social activity with your besties really is the best medicine. If you ever needed an excuse to go out with your friends, this is surely it!

As champions of human connection, we’ve long advocated the benefits of taking time out to reconnect with friends and colleagues.  This has never been truer than today. While being able to communicate via screens and virtual events has been something of a lifeline, we’ve definitely been feeling below par and missing the face-to-face social interaction that we humans crave (and don’t get us started on the absence of hugs and high fives!)

As the hospitality and leisure industry re-opens across the world in the coming weeks and months, consumers are now reaching tipping point.  Research shows that after a year of restrictions and lockdowns consumers are frustrated, bored and desperate to reconnect with friends and family.   In the UK, a survey by KAM Media found that a third of consumers said they were going to visit the pub when outdoor seating and service re-started on 12th April and a further 26% planed to wait until May 17th when indoor facilities re-openend.  The majority of these are younger consumers in the 18-34 age group.

Says SHUFL marketing manager Sam Catford: “Ask people what they’ve missed most during the pandemic and seeing friends is top of the list.  Pre-pandemic, we worked with several of our partners to promote singles shuffleboard events and initiatives to combat loneliness in the community. The competitive element of shuffleboard takes people out of themselves, it’s a great ice-breaker for meeting new friends and generates emotional connection to help strengthen friendships. This is something we all need right now and we definitely have some catching up to do!”

We literally CANNOT WAIT for hospitality to re-open across all our markets. Grab your besties and book a shuffleboard at your nearest venue – check out our guide to where to play.

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