Los Angeles Times

LA's loneliness problem starts with traffic, could it end with a walk?

It's hard to imagine how some people stave off loneliness in Los Angeles.

Nearly a third of the city's households consist of one person, according to the latest census numbers. They include young and old, rich and poor, and some particularly isolated modern city dwellers:

Those who work from home. Those who came here alone and now dart around L.A. in the gig economy, TaskRabbiting and delivering food for GrubHub.

If you earn a living in a place with regular staff and schedules, it's tempting to envy more free-form existences. But don't underestimate the value of spending time daily in the company of others who know your name, and speak to you, and would worry if you suddenly disappeared.

Research has shown that social isolation and its frequent companion, loneliness, can have health consequences so profound they can shorten our lives.

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