Originally Posted by Cigna
BLOOMFIELD, Conn., 17 June, 2019 – Results from Cigna’s landmark U.S. Loneliness Index were published yesterday in the American Journal of Health Promotion, as the company continues to advocate for a deeper understanding of the connectivity between physical health and emotional well-being.
Cigna’s U.S. Loneliness Index, surveying more than 20,000 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older revealed several significant findings, including:
- Nearly 50 percent of U.S. adult respondents report sometimes or always feeling alone or left out.
- One in four U.S. adults rarely or never feels as though there are people who understand them.
- Generation Z (ages 18-22) is the loneliest generation and claims to be in worse health than older generations.
“The Loneliness Index findings are so significant, so reflective of an emerging threat to our health and well-being, individually and culturally, that we need to utilize these findings to drive change,” said Dr. Stuart Lustig, national medical executive at Cigna and co-author of the study. “This analysis provides broad direction on how to mitigate the negative physical and emotional health impacts of loneliness and how we can partner with employers and care providers to design interventions.”
The peer-reviewed original research article, “Loneliness in the United States: A 2018 National Panel Survey of Demographic, Structural, Cognitive, and Behavioral Characteristics,” examines the Loneliness Index scores using a statistical model to understand what individual factors are most strongly related to loneliness, including daily behaviors like getting enough sleep or using text versus image-based social media, along with demographic factors like gender, race and income. The data also provide actionable insights for cultivating programs to enhance social well-being and connectivity.
In December 2018, Cigna launched a brief 10-question loneliness survey available to the public in hopes of reaching more people who may be experiencing feelings of loneliness, and offering suggestions to help increase meaningful connections and feelings of vitality. To date, more than 45,000 people have completed the online survey with the majority reporting feelings of loneliness. Data from the survey, in addition to The American Journal of Health Promotion study, provide increasing insight into what factors in people’s lives are related to loneliness.
The results of Cigna’s U.S. Loneliness Index influenced the company’s Body & Mind initiative that encourages people to talk with their health care provider about how they are feeling, both physically and emotionally. These conversations may include topics like loneliness, stress and sleeplessness which have proven connections to overall health.