HotBlack Coffee, in Toronto, Canada, innovated with the old and attracted the media’s attention. It decided to no longer offer Wi-Fi service in the store with the objective of increasing interaction among customers – used to being buried in their smartphones. “I want to create a social vibe,” said Jimson Bienenstock, the company’s president to a New York Times reporter. “Our coffee is a vehicle for human interaction, otherwise it’s just a commodity.” In the United States, Café Grumpy, with its seven stores in New York City, opted for the same strategy.
Perhaps Bienenstock instinctively knows what medical science has been increasingly demonstrating for decades: social interaction is a critically important contributor to good health and longevity. As a Harvard Women’s Health Watch reported, “dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.”
In a study of 7,000 men and women in Alameda County, California, which began back in 1965, researchers Leonard Syme, considered the father of social epidemiology, and Lisa Berkman confirmed the same thing that John Robbins had written in his book on health and longevity Healthy at 100 (not yet translated into Portuguese): “people who were disconnected from others were roughly 3 times more likely to die during the nine-year study than people with strong social ties.”
This major difference in survival occurred regardless of people’s age, gender, health practices or physical health status. Researchers found that “those with close social ties and unhealthful lifestyles (such as smoking, obesity and lack of exercise) actually live longer than those with poor social ties but more healthful living habits,” wrote Robbins. However, he quickly added: “Needless to say, people with both healthful lifestyles and close social ties lived the longest of all.” Click here for the full article.