Saturday, December 7, 2013

11 Things You’re Doing That Could Cause You To Die Young

11 Things You're Doing That Could Cause You
To Die Young
Are you sitting down while reading this? Well
that could be shortening your lifespan.
Let's be honest: From the moment we're born,
we're all dying just as we're living. But certain
mundane things we do every day may actually
be helping us get there faster. None of this
means we should even try to eliminate these
behaviors from our lives entirely, but it's proof
that overdoing anything, even when seemingly
innocuous, can have serious impacts on our
health. Below we've rounded up 11 everyday
things you're probably doing that could
potentially shorten your lifespan.
1. You're having a hard time finding love.
Having a difficult time finding a mate can
shave off months of your life, while being
single for prolonged periods of time could cost
you a whole decade. A study found that
communities with gender ratios skewing
significantly more male or female caused the
minority sex to have shorter lifespans. Even
when exposed to short time frames of
competition, such as attending a high school
entirely of one gender, participants were
found to have generally shorter lives.
On top of all this, another study found that
never getting married could increase risk of
death over a lifetime by 32 percent, and led to
the previously mentioned loss of a decade.
2. You're sitting down for more than a few
hours every day.
Two whole years of your life could be cut just
from sitting more than three hours a day.
Australian researchers found that even
regular exercise couldn't deter the potential
negative effects of sitting for long stretches
of time. Another study published in the JAMA
Internal Medicine found that sitting for more
than 11 hours a day increased the risk of death
by 40 percent over the next three years,
compared to sitting for under four hours a
day. Time to get that stand-up desk.
3. No Friends.
People with weak social connections were
found to die at much higher rates than their
counterparts, according to research. The same
researchers found that prolonged loneliness
could be as bad for your lifespan as smoking
15 cigarettes a day.
On top of all this, elderly people with large
circles of friends were found to be 22 percent
less likely to die over a tested study period,
and those social connections generally promote
brain health in ageing brains.
4. You're vegging out in front of your TV.
Watching just two hours of television a day
can lead to an increased risk of premature
death, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes,
according to Harvard researchers. The
negative effects of watching television seem
to overlap with the potential negative effects
of sitting too much, but watching television
seems to make the negative effects of sitting
even worse. According to the New York Times,
"every single hour of television watched after
the age of 25 reduces the viewer's life
expectancy by 21.8 minutes."
5. You're eating too much unhealthy food.
Perhaps this sounds obvious, but the truth is
that so many of us continue to do it. As far as
what foods to especially avoid, eating red
meat seems to shorten life expectancy by as
much as 20 percent when eating extra
portions.
6. You're still looking for a job.
Being unemployed can increase a person's risk
of premature death by 63 percent. Other more
specific studies found that "the two factors
most strongly associated with higher death
rates were smoking and not having a job."
Another found that older people who lost their
jobs during the recession could have seen their
lifespan decrease by as many as three years.
7. You're dealing with a long commute.
Commutes of about an hour have been found to
increase stress and have been linked to the
same negative effects as sitting. Long
commutes also reduce the likelihood that
individuals will consistently participate in
health related activities. The greatest lifespan
risk is with female commuters, who were found
to have significantly shorter lifespans after
consistently commuting for 31 miles or more.
The cause for the dip in female life
expectancies has been the topic of much
speculation lately, but while the Swedish
research was able to link commuting to
obesity, insomnia and a higher rate of divorce,
it wasn't able to pinpoint why female mortality
rates are higher.
8. You're having a dry-spell.
A study among men found that failing to
orgasm for extended periods of time can
potentially cause your mortality rate to be 50
percent higher than for those who have
frequent orgasms. This result was found even
when controlling for factors such as age,
smoking, and social class. On the opposite
spectrum, orgasms have been linked to quite a
few additional health benefits.
9. You're putting up with annoying co-
workers.
Missing out on strong connections with your
co-workers can also potentially mean missing
out on a longer life. Peer social support, which
could represent how well a participant is
socially integrated in his or her employment
context, is a potent predictor of the risk of
all causes of mortality. Although having
feelings of encouragement coming from bosses
and managers didn't seem to affect the
subjects' lifespans, those who reported
feelings of low social support at work were 2.4
times more likely to die over the study period.
10. You're not sleeping enough (or maybe
too much?)
Harvard Medical School points out that
research has shown that life expectancies
significantly decrease in subjects who average
less than five or more than nine hours a night.
Most of us suffer from too little rather than
too much sleep, but research suggests there
truly is a sleep "sweet spot" — at least if
you're primarily concerned about living for as
long as possible.
Chronic lack of sleep is associated with a
greater risk of cardiovascular disease,
diabetes, some cancers, dementia, cognitive
and memory problems, weight gain and early
death. And some research shows that too much
(dramatically, unusually too much) regular
sleep could be problematic as well.
Research has also shown that we need an
average of eight hours to function optimally,
but another, somewhat controversial study
found that getting more than seven hours of
sleep a night has been linked to shortened
lifespans.
11. You're fearing death or that you won't
live for as long as you'd like.
This is a painful paradox. A fear of a
shortened lifespans, or Thanatophobia, can
potentially end up causing – a shortened
lifespan. A 2012 study on cancer patients
ended up finding that, "life expectancy was
perceived as shortened in patients with death
anxiety."
Outside of cancer patients, an intense fear of
death can also lead to a three to five times
increase in the risk of cardiovascular ailments,
according to research on Americans who
feared death from another terrorist attack
following Sept. 11, 2001. Although a slight fear
of death has been shown to have positive
benefits, like an increase in exercise and
healthy eating, the fear has been shown to
significantly affect lifespans, especially in
adults nearing the age of being considered
elderly. These effects can also be correlated
to especially paranoid people having weaker
connections with society and increased
feelings of alienation – the negative effects of
which were both discussed above.
- Huffington Post

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