Going to the pub is good for your wellbeing - CAMRA report finds

The report was written for CAMRA
25/01/2016 - 12:08
New research from Oxford University today reveals that people who have a ‘local' pub are not only significantly happier than those who do not, but also have higher life satisfaction and have more close friends.

The report, written by Professor Robin Dunbar for CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) outlines that having a strong social network significantly improves both your happiness and your overall health. The more people you know, and the more often you see them, the better you feel and the healthier you are.

Professor Robin Dunbar, Oxford University, said: "Friendship and community are probably the two most important factors influencing our health and wellbeing. Making and maintaining friendships, however, is something that has to be done face-to-face: the digital world is simply no substitute. Given the increasing tendency for our social life to be online rather than face-to-face, having relaxed accessible venues where people can meet old friends and make new ones becomes ever more necessary."

Dunbar’s research found that people who have a local have more close friends they can call for support and feel more engaged with their wider community.

Whilst those who were casual visitors to the pub, and those in larger pubs, scored themselves as having consumed significantly more alcohol than those drinking in their local.

People drinking in city centre bars may be in larger social groups than those in more community-oriented pubs, but they are less engaged with those with whom they are associating and have significantly shorter conversations.

Tim Page, CAMRA chief executive, said: "Whilst we are delighted that such robust research highlights some of the many benefits of visiting a pub, I hardly expect the findings will be a great surprise to CAMRA members! Pubs offer a social environment to enjoy a drink with friends in a responsible, supervised community setting.

“Nothing is more significant for individuals, the social groupings to which they belong and the country as a whole as our personal and collective wellbeing. The role of community pubs in ensuring that wellbeing cannot be overstated. For that reason, we all need to do what we can to ensure that everyone has a ‘local' near to where they live or work."

The report concludes with a series of recommendations to Government, publicans and city planners in order to keep more pubs open and accessible to people across the country.

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