Knowing 6 Neighbours Reduces the Likelihood of Loneliness

Global scientific study examines how small acts of kindness impact feelings of loneliness and well-being, good news for the holiday season.

Listen: Jennie Sager, Nextdoor Australia, chats with Steve D about results from a global scientific study examining how small acts of kindness impact feelings of loneliness and well-being.

By Natalie BennettThursday 10 Dec 2020The Long Lunch with Steve

Nextdoor, in conjunction with Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, Brigham Young University in the United States, and University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, has released results from a global scientific study examining how small acts of kindness impact feelings of loneliness and well-being.

Salt 106.5’s Steve D spoke with head of Nextdoor Australia Jennie Sager about the study, which was conducted by a team of leading loneliness experts, finding that​ knowing as few as six neighbours reduces feelings of loneliness and is linked to lowering health and financial concerns related to COVID-19.

Listen to their conversation in the player above

The report addressed the impact of the N​extdoor KIND Challenge​ in Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom, where participants performed small acts of kindness in their communities over a four-week period.

These helpful (COVID-19 safe) actions included:

  • Emotional support​ (23 per cent), such as cheering up or listening to a neighbour
  • Tangible support​ (17 per cent) like mowing a neighbour’s lawn, bringing groceries, or running errands
  • Informational support​ (17 per cent), such as providing advice or helpful information about potential job opportunities, doctors in the area, where to shop, etc.
  • Companionship support​ (23 per cent), such as regularly calling a neighbour or chatting over a fence
  • Belonging support​ (12 per cent), such as contributing to a larger neighbourhood effort like a neighbourhood cleanup, volunteer drive, or sharing talents/skills with others

Nextdoor’s study found that ​performing small acts of kindness for neighbours​ also reduces the likelihood of feeling lonely. While one in 10 participants said they experienced feelings of loneliness at the start of the study, the number was reduced to one in 20 at completion.

Nextdoor connects neighbours based on proximity and not preference, a​nd the research found that the smallest actions, such as saying hello to a neighbour, increases neighbourhood unity ​and assists in building a world where everyone has a neighbour to rely on.

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For more information visit go.nextdoor.com