Lack Of Mobility Is Isolating

The loss of physical mobility is frightening and generates multiple other complications for the struggling individual. The loss of mobility is often caused by aging but can also be caused by tragic accidents. In either case, lack of mobility has far-reaching consequences not only physically, but also emotionally and socially.

An article published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior states, “Mobility is central to fulfilling needs beyond basic survival, such as social engagement”[1] The article highlights the many repercussions of the lack of physical mobility. One of the negative effects of immobility is reduced social engagement. This connection makes sense when applied to our everyday lives. The places and events we connect with people often require a level of physical mobility to allow us to be present.

Many people live through the disappointment of realizing their inability to attend a football game with friends or go shopping at the mall with their family. These events used to be part of their everyday lives, but with reduced mobility, they become difficult and time-consuming. The thought of slowing down friends and family down as they enjoy life burdens them. To avoid this feeling, they retract themselves from the social interactions they once actively participated in.

Even though society has made great strides in opening venues and events to those with mobility struggles, people often choose to withdraw anyway because of the inherent difficulties of their mobility level.

As the article mentioned above indicates, this sort of retraction from society causes harm to the individual’s social well-being. Relationships are built and maintained by steady interaction, and when that interaction is cut off, the relationship suffers. This effectively renders the individual socially isolated, which on its own is troubling. However, studies show that social isolation has even deeper effects on a person’s well-being.

In 2012, a study was conducted by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that reported, “Reducing both social isolation and loneliness are important for quality of life and well-being.”[2] Engaging in healthy social interaction is a major force in increasing physical well-being and consequently life expectancy.

A study published by Brigham Young University in 2010 reiterates the importance of social interaction with overall health.[3] The study found that those with the strongest social relationships had a 50% higher chance of survival than those without strong social relationships. This data establishes that, “low social interaction harms longevity as much as alcoholism and smoking, has more impact than lack of exercise, and is twice as harmful as obesity.”[4]

Overall, the damaging effects of a lack of mobility extend farther than one would expect. In many cases, the lack of mobility causes a forced withdrawal from society. This withdrawal negatively impacts the individual and potentially shortens their life span. It important for people with mobility struggles to stay engaged with society, family, and friends even when it may be difficult. As humans, we require a certain level of engagement with others to stay healthy.

If you have lost mobility because of an injury as the result of a someone else’s negligence, see a doctor, and, as always, please call Groth Law Firm, S.C. with any questions.  We are available 24/7 to discuss your options as the victim of negligence. Our initial consultations are always free.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. It is not medical advice and should not be used as medical advice. The legal statutes, laws, and procedures contained in this article may not be current and may have been revised since the time of publication or contain errors. An attorney can provide legal guidance only after reviewing the details of your individual case.

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3683993/

[2] http://www.pnas.org/content/110/15/5797#sec-1

[3] http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316

[4] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/196056.php