7 Bizarre Things That Affect Life Expectancy ...

Okay, so we all know the main things that affect life expectancy, right? Habits such as smoking and being overweight are well documented in their effects on how long we live, and various conditions play their part, too – but did you know that there is a whole range of hidden things that have been proven to affect vitality? Here’s some of the most shocking thing that affect life expectancy…

1. Jetting off…

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Holidays are actually proven to reduce stress, thereby boosting health – but if getting away involves boarding a plane, you might be negating the benefits. The Association of Flight Attendants conducted a study into how flying affects life span, and found that people who work in the aviation industry, and therefore fly frequently, have higher incidences of cancer. Why? Physicist Robert Parish claims it’s due to radiation levels at the cruising height of 39,000 feet – up there your body is subjected to 64 times more radiation that you’d get at sea level. I’d never have believed this was one of the things that affect life expectancy!

2. Giving up Work…

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Looking forward to retirement? While most people see finally giving up work as a light at the end of a tunnel, especially when work seems stressful or unrewarding, studies show that people who retire younger tend to die younger too. The study followed groups of healthy individuals, half of which retired at 55, and half who retired at 65. Those who retired at 55 died younger, on average, despite having no existing medical conditions. Stopping working may be relaxing, but it might not be the best choice for your body.

3. Colleague Conflict…

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Researchers at Tel Aviv University discovered that friendly, supportive colleagues often reduce stress levels, blood pressure and cholesterol – so they repeated the study on people with less friendly colleagues. Most workplaces have someone who seems intent on causing arguments, not pulling their weight or generally being difficult, and the study showed that the extra stress lead to a shorter life span. Conflicts with colleagues had the most effect between 38 and 43 years old, so it’s worth switching to a less stressful job if possible.

4. GSOH…

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No, this isn’t a dodgy dating profile – but if you don’t have a great sense of humor, it might be worth finding something to laugh about. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology studied 54,000 people and found that those who found life hilarious were 35 percent more likely to live longer than people with a less humorous outlook on life. It’s thought that laughter instantly reduces stress, boosts the immune system and accelerates blood flow.

5. Sleeping…

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Everyone needs as much sleep as possible, right? Wrong. While the amount of sleep you need does vary by person, sleeping for much longer than the recommended eight hours a day can cause serious health issues. Heart disease rates are 60 percent higher in people who regularly sleep for nine and a half hours or more, and oversleeping is thought to cause diabetes, headaches, depression and obesity, too. Always tired? Get down to your doctor for tests.

6. Avoiding Alcohol…

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You’d be forgiven for thinking completely cutting alcohol would make you live longer, especially considering the issues that drinking too much can cause. Alcohol in moderation can actually be very good for you, though. The University of Texas found that people who were teetotal tended to die before people who consume a moderate amount of alcohol, due to alcohol's ability to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s, and protect against heart disease.

7. Going Solo…

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There’s a great new reason to make time for your other half in the bedroom – sex is good for you, and regular sex will prolong your life. The British Medical Journey compared the mortality of couples who have sex once a week compared to once a month, and found that the more frequent lovers lived much longer. Duke University replicated the results, and showed that women with satisfying sex lives live up to eight years longer than their counterparts. So not only are you boosting your immune system, exercising and lowering blood pressure, you’re extending your life, too.

How many of these things that affect life expectancy did you know?! It seems crazy that bedroom habits have such an effect, and I’ll definitely feel less guilty for that odd glass of wine now! Do you know something crazy that affects mortality? I’d love to hear it!

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