Sure, eating right and exercising can lengthen your life. But there are some other factors at play too. Psychology Today polled doctors to find out which lifestyle factors help us live longer. Here’s what they found:
If you’re a guy who can have his pick of girlfriends, you’ll live a few months longer than a guy who has to scrounge for dates, like in an area where the men outnumber the women. That’s according to a Harvard study that looked at census data for 7 million men. What does getting your pick of girls have to do with longevity? When there’s less competition among men, there’s less stress. And when guys have to choose from a smaller pool of eligible women, they may get a quote, “low quality mate” and her poor health or lifestyle choices will rub off on the man, shortening his life.
Another longevity factor? Being born during a strong economy. People born during boom times live a year longer than those born in slumps. Two reasons: They have access to better nutrition and they’re raised with less stress. And exposure to financial stress, even in the womb, increases heart-disease-related mortality.
Also, early exposure to stress can lead to irreparable neural damage.
Another life lengthening factor? Stressing out about the right stuff on the job. Bad stressors at work include worrying about the boss you don’t get along with, or if you’re going to be fired. But good job stress is stuff like being challenged by a project. Because motivation and productivity can lengthen your life by about 4 years.
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