June 21, 2011

NIVEA - Feel Closer


Nivea have commissioned research by psychologist Professor Geoff Beattie as a barometer of closeness today – and the results show we’re closer than ever to our friends and families. That’s good news, as pals are vital for our health.

Yes, really  - there’s scientific research to prove it. In fact, studies show not staying connected poses similar risks to your health as high blood pressure, obesity and even smoking – your friends really do have that much impact. Here are just a few of the key benefits of being close to others:

  • a healthier heart –close social contact helps lower blood pressure and overall risk of heart disease. 

  • lower risk of cancer – one study found women without a strong social and emotional support network were nine times more likely to be diagnosed with a malignant breast tumour during routine screening. 

  • better mental health – loneliness and social isolation are major risk factors for conditions ranging from depression and anxiety to Alzheimer’s disease.

There are probably several interlinking reasons for all this, say scientists. Lonely people are more likely to rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as smoking and excessive drinking. And, lacking the self-esteem boost we get from positive relationships, they may be less motivated to exercise and eat well. In addition, without someone to confide in during difficult times, the lonely may experience a build-up of stress that can have a direct physical impact, even accelerating the ageing process.

Whatever the reasons, it’s clear being close to others is as important for our health as getting our five-a-day and hitting the gym. So NIVEA are encouraging us all to value our relationships and prioritise ‘us time’ with our nearest and dearest.

In this spirit of healthy togetherness, demonstrate how close you are by taking part in NIVEA’s A Million Moments of Closeness – upload photos of you with your best friend, sibling, partner, parent or child at facebook.com/niveauk, or look out for our road shows, throughout the UK, where you can jump into a photo booth and have your picture instantly uploaded. Whether you share your photos on Facebook or at the roadshow, you’re in with the chance to win - every day, Professor Beattie will choose a picture of the day, and the winner will receive one of 100 prizes worth £100.

And join in their debate about closeness in 21st century Britain. Is friendship the best anti-depressant going? Can a text ever be as rewarding as a face-to-face chat? Is physical proximity essential for true closeness – or can a long-distance relationship work? Have your say on these and other questions in the Feel Closer debate at facebook.com/niveauk – and let’s value our closeness.

What do you think? I agree that in our era of social networking, it may seem easier than ever to stay in touch with our friends, but we also need face to face interactions, and to me, a text or email will never replace having a great in deep conversation with my friends.

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  1. Absolutely Gaby - I'm sure the majority of the population will all agree that healthy relationships are so important for our health (didn't have to pay someone to do a study on it). Anyways, just wanted to stress the word healthy as I see too many people put up with stupid relationships that bring them down and add too much negativity in life. Relationships are complicated and understanding where you stand in life with your relationships is very important but it takes a lot of maturity to get there too.
    Social networking is important - I can't go without internet or phone. But I usually just email and text to make plans for my next get together in person....where you can have meaningful conversations as you said.

  2. this was cute, i just entered it on FB :)

  3. I completely agree with your last sentence, but I think its good that we are closer nowadays.



  4. This is really interesting, good friendships are definitely the best anti-depressant indeed:)

  5. Gaby, I entered the contest yesterday and I got an email today saying I won! The pic will be posted on their website and FB tomorrow. Unfortunately since I don't live in the UK I can't claim any of the prizes though lol.

  6. Sounds good - but Nivea still tests on animals...So when "NIVEA are encouraging us all to value our relationships and prioritise ‘us time’ with our nearest and dearest.", they do not include the animals that they test their products on.

  7. @Karen Law : Totally agree with you Karen! I don't think I could live without social networks z=

    @Beautychokes : Agreed!

    @ MaviDeniz : OMG Are you serious? That's amazing! I'm happy for you! I'm sorry you can't claim a prize though, I didn't know it was restricted to UK residents x=

    @Anonymous: Awww I didn't know that! Thank you for bringing this up. I'm a strong animal activist and even though I haven't totally crossed companies that test on animals on the list of products I own, I'm a vegetarian, and I think it's a pretty good start. One battle at a time, I'll say!