Live with Others

Recommendation #9 of 31 for Optimizing Health and Extending Lifespan
Rating: 4.0 out of 5 (1 rating)
158 students
English [Auto]

The value of living with others for optimal health and longer lifespan


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Did you know that in the past 80 years, the percent of U.S. adults who live alone has more than tripled? In 1940, 8% of U.S. adults lived alone. In 2019, 28% of adults live alone in the U.S.

Not only does living alone take a psychological toll, researchers are discovering that living alone effects our physical health as well.  People who live alone have a 32% increased risk of premature death, according to a recent large systematic review.

There are two ways we end up living alone. The first is short term and due to circumstances that are not expected to last.  Many people live alone after college, for example. The second pathway whereby we live alone is referred to as the "loneliness regulatory loop." Basically we over-estimate the chance of being rejected, so we avoid trying to connect or cohabitate with others. 

The effect of living alone on physical health is thought to be due to weakened self-control. It's hard to stick to a diet, or exercise, or do other activities for your health that require willpower, when you are preoccupied with the threat of rejection and the feelings of isolation.  Not living with others is also thought to effect health by diminishing sleep quality, and by stimulating the fight-or-flight stress response.

In this course, Dr. Nicholas Cohen, MD, a primary care physician in San Francisco, provides a comprehensive plan to help you overcome solitary living. You'll learn about the causes of living alone, and he'll share with you effective strategies that have worked for thousands of his patients. 

The course begins with the definition and prevalence of living alone. Next, Dr. Cohen shows the evidence for the health impact of living alone, how living alone shortens lifespan.  In the next section, he'll describe the main factors that lead to people living alone. This will be followed by an overview of the impact of living alone on health.  Dr. Cohen will then share with you tips for living with others.  These are tips he follows himself to maintain his own psychological health. These recommendations promote health, and are a comprehensive strategy to living healthier, not just finding someone to live with in the short term. Finally, Dr. Cohen will answer some frequently asked questions, and conclude with a summary of the information covered.

Who this course is for:

  • Anyone who wants to optimize their health and extend their life


Primary Care Physician
Nicholas Cohen, MD
  • 4.4 Instructor Rating
  • 200 Reviews
  • 5,225 Students
  • 37 Courses

Nicholas Cohen has been a primary care physician for over 11 years.  He received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine, and completed residency and fellowship at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is currently affiliated with University of California San Francisco seeing patients at a primary care clinic in downtown San Francisco.