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Feeling lonely? You’re not alone

Over 60% of American adults say they feel alone sometimes or always.

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Young workers are feeling especially lonely in the workplace, the Cigna U.S. Loneliness Index found.

Young workers are feeling especially lonely in the workplace, the Cigna U.S. Loneliness Index found.

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Earlier this month, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy called loneliness on the job a public health crisis, Forbes reports, and the recent 2020 Cigna U.S. Loneliness Index helps his argument.

The recently released survey found that loneliness in the past two years had increased by almost 13%, NPR reports.

Health insurance provider Cigna conducts the survey annually. This year, CBS reports, the company surveyed more than 10,000 adults during the summer of 2019.

Young workers in particular are feeling alone. The report found 73% of workers from 18 to 22 years old said they were lonely sometimes or even always, according to CNBC. That’s up from 69% a year ago.

What are the culprits behind the workplace problem? The study found that poor workplace cultures and lack of friendships between colleagues were to blame.

But even a poor workplace culture is better than working from home since working remotely increases loneliness, according to research, Fox News reports.

“In-person connections are what really matters,” the chief medical officer of behavioral health at Cigna told NPR. “Sharing time ... is important to help us mitigate and minimize loneliness.”

In general, 61% of American workers said they felt lonely sometimes or always, which quintuples the percentage recorded in 2018, reports CBS.

The loneliness epidemic is worse in men and frequent social media users, NPR reports, since 63% of men were lonely, while 58% of women reported feeling lonely.

Meanwhile, 73% of those who identified as heavy social media users were lonely, compared to the 52% of infrequent social media users.

The loneliness epidemic isn’t just concerning for workers, it’s concerning for their employers, too. CNBC reports that employees that feel socially isolated will miss work five times as much as their socially connected coworkers.