People’s physical and mental health is significantly greater in those who have links with their neighbours than those without.

“In a typical Australian suburb, people who have links with their neighbours have better health than those who do not,” said Professor Bush.

“The links are often fairly simple – not only knowing your neighbours but doing small things for them.”

Even people who are ill tend to get better if they have greater links with their neighbours, the researchers said.

As people get older, maintaining links with neighbours, making use of local parks, and living in a community where people help each other ensures that these people not only live longer, but also are less likely to get sick, he said.

Those who live in communities where people are cut off from their neighbours, where they are fearful of using local parks and byways, are more likely to suffer illnesses.

via Being nice is good for you › News in Science (ABC Science).