We get it: staying in majorly appeals now that the weather has cooled down and season 4 of Billions just dropped on Stan. But gf, that social calendar ain’t gonna fill itself. It’s time to ditch your pre-winter hibernation and call your crew for a night (or two) on the town. Coz according to research out of the University of Oxford, meeting up with your pals at least twice a week is necessary for good health.
“The figure of twice a week comes from our findings that this is the amount of time that you typically spend with your closest friends/family,” Dr Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology and the university told The Huffington Post.
“For both sexes (no surprise) having a large, well-integrated social network has a significant impact on both physical and emotional health. People with larger and/or more integrated networks suffer less illness, recover quicker from surgery, are less like to die – and even their children are less likely to die.”
And if you need another reason to peel yourself off the couch, know this: People who make time for friendship are less prone to anxiety and more likely to be generous.
In an interview with Scientific American back in 2017, Dr Dunbar explained how this works on a physiological level.
“Laughing together, jogging together, dancing together, singing together, telling emotionally wrenching stories, going to see weepy films – these activities buffer the body biochemically and immunologically against the kinds of coughs and colds of everyday life.”
But despite this, the findings established that only two out of five of us have the time to meet up with our mates weekly. (*Sigh*)
Bottom line? It’s not always easy to prioritise your social life over other things in life (i.e. sleep, fam, that out-of-control inbox.) But if this research is anything to go by, locking in a girl’s night on the reg is totally worth it.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health.