40% Of Adults Go Days Without Face-To-Face Interaction, Study Finds

In our hyper-connected world, it may seem like loneliness is a thing of the past. However, a new survey suggests that even in the midst of bustling social lives, many of us are struggling with profound feelings of isolation.

The research, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Zumba, polled 2,000 British adults and found that a staggering 40 percent have gone at least three days without a face-to-face conversation with another person. Even more surprising, 28 percent reported feeling lonely while at a social event, and a quarter have felt isolated at their workplace.

This “lonely in a crowd” phenomenon seems to hit young adults the hardest, with 60 percent of those between 18 and 24 reporting feelings of loneliness. Women were also more likely to feel this way than men (38% vs 30%).

So, what’s driving this epidemic of loneliness? Part of the problem may be our reluctance to open up about these feelings. Only 14 percent of respondents said they “often” talk to others about their loneliness, and 62 percent believe there is a stigma around the issue.

But keeping these emotions bottled up can take a serious toll. The study found that loneliness negatively impacts confidence, anxiety levels, and sleep for many people. Two in five (42%) said their sleep worsens when they feel lonely, and 29 percent see themselves as less attractive. Diet also takes a hit for three in 10 lonely individuals.

The good news is that there are steps we can take to combat these feelings. Forty-three percent of respondents believe that bonding with someone through a shared experience would make them feel less alone. A third said that being part of a community or group or achieving a personal accomplishment could help alleviate loneliness.

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