How Being Single Could Be Good For Your Health

Photographed by Winnie Au.
We've heard that long-distant relationships might have health benefits, but are there any health perks that come with being single? While no one has quantified the mental boost you get by never having to argue over what to watch on Netflix, recent studies suggest that being single is actually pretty good for you.

Related: Science Says Some People Are Meant To Be Single

A 2011 survey found that married women accounted for a whopping 63% of people who didn't exercise the recommended 150 minutes per week; only 37% of single or divorced women didn't meet the exercise recommendations. The researchers hypothesized that single women only had to address their own needs (and not those of spouses or children), so they simply had more time to exercise. Considering the mood-boosting, stress-busting, heart-strengthening effects of working out, it's easy to argue that single women might experience health advantages because of this.

But there's additional research that suggests marriage itself can worsen health: A 2014 study found that people in unhappy marriages were more likely to suffer from heart disease.

Related: How Your Relationship Is Linked To Your Health

Researchers have also found evidence that single people have stronger friendships. While married people were found to be less inclined to nurture non-marital bonds, single people dedicated more time to fostering relationships with their siblings, friends, and neighbors. If you ask us, we'd say this a clear win for singles; the more friends, the better, right? Having buddies also pays off in the long-term: A 2010 study found that people with fewer close friends had a 50% greater risk of dying within the next seven and a half years. That's reason enough to take whatever variation of "ovaries before bro-varies" you subscribe to a little more seriously.

Click through to Shape for more on the benefits of the single life.

Related: 12 Ways Your Best Friend Boosts Your Health

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