More Ways Everyday Habits Can Affect Longevity

officeI once wrote a blog post that talked about some everyday habits and situations that can lead to shorter lifespan, including having a hard time finding love, sitting down for long periods of time, avoiding social connections, watching a lot of television, eating unhealthy foods, being unemployed, and driving long distances on a regular basis. So you know that sitting for long periods of time has been linked to many negative health effects, including premature death, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes. But there are a few more things you might be doing that could sabotage your longevity and long-term health.

Your co-workers are hard to deal with. You already know the importance of having good social connections, since they promote brain health in aging brains and are strong predictors of long-term health and longevity. Having strong social support has even been found to improve quality of life in cancer patients. So it should come as no surprise that lack of connection with your co-workers can also affect your longevity.

“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,” said researchers at Tel Aviv University. The study also found that participants who felt as though they had little social support at work were 2.4 times more likely to die during the course of the study—regardless of encouragement from bosses, which seemed not to affect the participants’ lifespans.

You’re not getting enough sleep. According to Harvard Medical School, research has shown time and again that people who get less than five or more than nine hours of sleep every night are more likely to have shorter life expectancies. And believe it or not, research has found that there might be a sleep sweet spot for increased longevity, which one study found to be seven hours of sleep per night. According to a 2002 study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, those who actually slept eight hours instead of seven were found to have a 12 percent increase in mortality rate. But other research has shown that eight hours is optimal, and too much more than that could be caused by diabetes, depression, or other physical ailments.

You fear not living. According to a 2012 cancer patient study in the US National Library of Medicine, “life expectancy was perceived as shortened in patients with death anxiety.” This fear of a shorter lifespan is called Thanatophobia, and this intense fear of death was found in one study to increase the risk of cardiovascular problems by three to five times. Longevity can also be affected by this fear in those who are aging, and may have an impact on the lifespans of people who are especially sensitive to weak connections with society, with increased feelings of alienation or very little social support. However, some fear of a shortened lifespan can actually lead to positive results, like a change to a healthy lifestyle of nutritious food and exercise. 

 

Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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