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In a follow-up to its 2018 Loneliness Index, a recent study conducted by Cigna found that Black and Latinx millennials and Gen Xers were found to be the loneliest demographic in the nation.

In the report titled Loneliness in the Workplace, researchers examined a variety of factors that seemed to influence heightened feelings of loneliness. Among the listed factors was a breakdown in personal relationships. While 77 percent of the study’s participants reported “having close relationships that provide them with a sense of emotional security and well-being,” a quarter of those surveyed agreed with the statement, “I feel that I do not have close personal relationships with other people.”

Another factor examined by researchers was the frequency of in-person interactions and satisfaction level with those interactions.

“Those who interact with people daily have an average loneliness score of 41.1, nearly 20 points lower than those who never interact with other people,” the report explains. “Nearly all (94%) of those who never have in-person interactions have a loneliness score above 43.”

When it came to relationships in the workplace, Black and Hispanic employees reported a greater sense of loneliness and alienation by coworkers.

“Both Hispanic and African American workers agree in higher numbers that they feel abandoned by coworkers when under pressure at work,” researchers explained. “They often feel more alienated from their coworkers and they report feeling more emotionally distant at work.”

Unsurprisingly, the study found that heavy social media use also played a significant factor in regard to feelings of isolation and loneliness. More than seven in 10 participants who consider themselves to be very heavy social media users scored high enough scores to be considered lonely on the UCLA loneliness index, versus 52% of light users. That makes sense when you consider the fact that nearly eight in 10 Gen Zers (79%) and seven in 10 millennials (71%) are lonely, versus half of boomers (50%).

“Two-thirds of very heavy social media users report always or sometimes feeling alone, the report went on to explain. “Sixty percent always or sometimes feel no longer close to anyone.”

While unfortunate, we can’t say that the results of this study surprise us one bit. To learn about loneliness and the workplace, visit Cigna.com/CombattingLoneliness.

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