Connect with us


Quiz: How lonely are you?



woman lonely swing
/ Shutterstock

  • Loneliness is a big issue in the US, particularly among
    younger people.
  • There’s a scientific way to
    determine how lonely you are, called the UCLA Loneliness
  • Health insurer Cigna on Wednesday
    released a 10-question version of the tool, made in partnership
    with Dr. Daniel Russell, who created the initial
  • You can take the quiz

Loneliness has reached epidemic
levels in the US. 

In May,
health insurance company Cigna published results
from a
survey that found most American adults are considered lonely.
Younger people, like millennials and Generation Z, are the

The company used a
questionnaire based on the UCLA Loneliness Scale, which is
most widely used by researchers

To help the rest of us get a sense
of how lonely we might be, Cigna on Wednesday released a 10-question
of the questionnaire used for the UCLA Loneliness
Scale in partnership with Dr. Daniel Russell, who created the
initial scale. 

Being lonely can have a big impact on your health,
from disrupting
and increasing stress,
to weakening a person’s
immune system
. It’s also associated
cognitive decline, heart disease, and greater frailty
later on in life. And recent research has found that it has such
a significant effect on mortality rates
that loneliness
could be considered a public health
 that’s more harmful than obesity and
about as bad
as smoking

Read more:

Loneliness may be a greater public health hazard than obesity
— and experts say it has hit epidemic levels in the

“Loneliness is a normal feeling,”
Dr. Doug Nemecek, chief medical officer of behavioral health at
Cigna told Business Insider. Everybody will feel lonely at some
point in their lives. The key is to figure out who might be
chronically lonely, which is what can have a negative impact on
people’s health, he said.

The test runs though questions such
as “How often do you feel isolated from others?” and “How often
do you feel that you have a lot in common with the people around
you?” with options to answer “never,” “rarely,” “sometimes,” or


Screen Shot 2018 12 04 at 10.57.20 AMScreenshot via Cigna

Evaluating loneliness

Starting in February, Cigna along
with research firm Ipsos

20,000 US adults aged 18 or older to assess the state of
loneliness using the UCLA questionnaire. 

Possible loneliness scores ranged from 20 to 80 in the scale,
with anything above 43 qualifying as “lonely.” The average score
was a 44, making most Americans qualify as lonely.

Just under half of respondents reported sometimes or always
feeling alone or left out. About 27% of Americans said they feel
that people rarely or never understand them. One-fifth of
respondents said they rarely or never feel close to people, and
just under half said they didn’t have meaningful relationships or
felt isolated.

Young people in particular reported high rates of loneliness,
with rates gradually decreasing with age.

Kevin Loria

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job