PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Guys, are you looking for a good excuse to hang out with your friends and have a few beers? Well, now you have one…your health.
A new study conducted by the University of Oxford suggests that for men, grabbing a few drinks with your buds is not only a good time, it’s essential to good health.
Seriously, a “guys’ night” is a must? Sorry ladies, it’s more like two.
The study, conducted by Robin Dunbar, a psychologist and director of Oxford University’s social and evolutionary neuroscience research group, determined that men must meet up with friends not just once, but twice a week in order to reap the full benefits of male friendship.
“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 states. “However, the key to maintaining strong friendships is to meet up twice a week and do stuff with the four people closest to you.”
According to the study, men who maintain social groups are less likely to suffer from depression caused by worries about money and job insecurity. They’re even able to recover quicker from illnesses than those with less social contact.
Benefits of strong male friendships include a stronger immune system, the release of endorphins, an overall decrease in anxiety levels, and (apparently) even higher levels of generosity, Health Spirit Body writes.
The same study shows most men get far less male bonding time than what they require, with 40% only able to make a “guys’ night” a weekly affair.
Dunbar suggests that despite spending 20% of their day interacting through other means, men need to meet face to face to keep their friendships strong, and throwing back a few cold beers is the perfect way to achieve this.
So, it would appear that men who typically may have trouble getting the “okay” from their wife or girlfriend to head to the bar with their friends seem to have a legitimate case for doing just that.