Nearly half of Brits socialise with family and friends only once a month or less, according to a new survey.
The lack of human interaction is causing the nation’s sense of wellbeing to dwindle, the Sainsbury’s Living Well Index said.
Participants were surveyed on 60 different aspects of their lives, including their sex lives, quality of sleep, finances, relationships and jobs – with an average “wellbeing score” of 60.4 out of 100.
The figure is 0.38 points lower than last year, which the report said was equivalent to a wellbeing decline associated with a £260 (or 18%) fall in the average monthly income.
Nearly one in 10 (9.1%) people said they never meet socially with friends, relatives or co-workers, while 21.4% said they did so less than once a month. A further 17.5% only socialised once a month, according to the survey.
Working baby boomers’ wellbeing index scores fell “dramatically” – by 1.76 points on average – in the last 12 months, more than four times the average.
Authors of the study said the “key driver” was a decline in social connections (down 0.36 points) and relationships (0.29 points).
The overall score for June 2019 was almost a full point lower than in autumn 2017, when the first index was published.
Sainsbury’s surveyed 8,000 people in partnership with the National Centre for Social Research and Oxford Economics.
It said the results prompted a scheme to offer its 178,000 employees the opportunity to spend a day volunteering under its ’150 Days of Community’ initiative.