Barometer

Is hugging healthy?

22 May 2021

9:00 AM

22 May 2021

9:00 AM

Call to arms

Is hugging important to health? A study by Carnegie Mellon University and published in the journal Psychological Science in 2015 claimed so. Psychologists interviewed 404 adults about their social lives, including how often they got into personal conflicts and how often they shared hugs with people they knew and trusted. The volunteers were then exposed to the common cold virus and quarantined to see whether or not they fell ill. The scientists concluded that social contact had a protective effect against the virus — and that hugging accounted for a third of that effect.

Job prospects

In which sector are you most likely to land a new job over the next three months? Net balance between the percentage of employers looking to expand their staff and those looking to shrink it:

Healthcare 54

ICT 37

Admin/support services 32

Construction 32

Hospitality 29

Voluntary (charity) sector 28


Construction 24

Finance/insurance 23

Source: CIPD

Gas safety check

A gas explosion in Heysham, Lancashire, demolished a row of houses and killed a two-year-old boy. How many people are hurt in gas explosions in Britain?

— Between 2010 and 2016 there were 141 gas explosions, an average of 23 a year.

— They caused 9 deaths and 178 injuries.

— However, this was dwarfed by the number killed and injured by carbon monoxide poisoning from gas appliances: over the same period, 42 people were killed and 1,645 injured in this way.

Source: CO-Gas Safety

Time travel

There were 93 million overseas visits by UK citizens in 2019. How many of them were to countries now on the ‘green list’?

UK visitor numbers by destination

Portugal 3.31 million

Israel 196,000

Australia (on green list but won’t currently allow entry to UK visitors) 550,000

New Zealand (ditto) 128,000

The other countries on the green list are not listed among the ONS’s top 50 countries visited by UK citizens in 2019. They are: Singapore; Brunei; Iceland; Gibraltar; Falkland Islands; Faroe Islands; South Georgia and Sandwich Islands; St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
Close