If you were looking for an excuse for a guy’s night out, look no further. A recent study out of the U.K. finds that it’s actually good for you! Research from Dr. Robin Dunbar, a reputable psychologist and director of Oxford University’s social and evolutionary neuroscience research group, suggests men require a minimum of two “guys’ nights” a week to maintain good health.
Specifically, men who have a guys’ night out twice a week recuperate from sickness more quickly, tend to be more kind and are better able to ward off depression caused by money worries, job insecurity and long work hours.
“Bonds can be formed through a range of activities from team sports to male banter – or simply having a pint with your pals on a Friday night,” Dunbar reported to the Daily Mail. “However, the key to maintaining strong friendships is to meet up twice a week and do stuff with the four people closest to you.”
The study only involved five men, two of which saw their buddies twice a week.
All of the men reportedly spent one-fifth of their day interacting with approximately 150 acquaintances primarily through social media, text, and phone conversations. However, Dunbar claims those social interactions do not offer the same health benefits as meeting their four closest pals in person.
While the findings of this Guinness-sponsored study may be interesting, they should be somewhat taken with a grain of salt. The study involved just five subjects and its sponsor has an obvious vested interest in men going out to drink with their buddies. Nevertheless, past studies with considerably better research methodologies point to the overall health benefits of friendships.
A 2005 study, which looked at 1,500 Australian seniors, found that men and women with the greatest number of close friends were found to outlive their counterparts by 22 percent. Close friends are also believed to improve an individual’s sense of belonging and purpose, boost happiness, reduce stress and improve self-worth.