Single Women May Be Healthier Than Their Married Counterparts

Unmarried men are 14% more likely to develop metabolic syndrome, but unmarried women are completely unaffected.Unmarried men are 14% more likely to develop metabolic syndrome, but unmarried women are completely unaffected.

There’s a stubborn notion, even today, that coupling is the benchmark of contentment and health. With the exception of the jaded, marriage is still celebrated as the ultimate social success. Even science seemed to back up the positive perception, at least as far as cardiovascular health is concerned.

But new research suggests that being single may be a prescription for a tidier bill of health; especially for women. 

An infographic from Happify, a startup “experience” that claims to help people improve their emotional well-being through research-backed activities and games launched two years ago, cites data from the Pew Research Center showing single life to be really good for you. 

In the 1960s, 72% of the population was married, now only about 50% tie the knot. Marriage is slowly falling out of favor. 

Singles enjoy stronger social bonds with friends, neighbors and family. They stay more connected to others and are more likely to get help and help those around them, something which boosts health in its own right, reported. 

Dr. Carolyn Schwarz of University of Massachusetts Medical School found that depression rates were significantly lower in those who helped others regularly. Helpers are happier. Being single affords you some time to lend the occasional hand. 

Married men, on the other hand, had fewer close confidants. In fact, 15% of them have no close friends at all. Tight friendship keeps your mind sharp, extends your life and your overall health. So, married or not, buddy up.

  Drop in Job Satisfaction

Happiness outside the sphere of conjugal life is also affected. Things like job satisfaction drop after a major event like marriage, especially in women. While that may just be post vacation blues, it may point to a bigger issue for married women.

Old- fashioned marriage models from the 1970s had many doctors rightly claiming female mental health takes a hit post vows. Married women were more depressed than their single sisters with things like low financial status (due to unpaid but time consuming domestic duties) being a key factor. The more balanced partnership of modern marriages shows far better numbers though. Still, unmarried men are 14% more likely to develop metabolic syndrome, but unmarried women are completely unaffected.

Dr George Ploubidis, a population health scientist at the UCL Institute of Education, confirms that “not marrying is less detrimental among women than men.” 

Ultimately, single men are more prone to illness. Not so for women. “Being married appears to be more beneficial for men,” he says. Others say optimum health is not about your marital status but how we live our single or married lives. Data will likely continue to prove and disprove the benefits of spinsterhood and bachelorhood forever.


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