11 out-of-the-box activities that will add years to your life

A new chart from Information Is Beautiful found the following can add years to your life.

We all want to live rich, full and long lives. Now clearly what you do now can impact how long you live (even if it doesn’t feel like it.) Things like taking care of your body, being part of happy relationships, and even laughing every day, can do wonders for your health.

But are there other, not-so-obvious things you haven’t even considered that could prolong your life? A chart from Information Is Beautiful that collected data from a number of sources including various published science papers found the following can add some years.


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Be optimistic

Ok so this one isn’t too surprising but interestingly but women who have high levels of cynicalness, even though they tend to live longer than men, are 16% more likely to die earlier.

Have a long-lived maternal grandfather

Wow. Seems a little random but apparently, this is a factor, especially for men.

Hang out with women a lot

This is another one geared for men. If you have more gal pals, you will live longer! So go grab some women. No, don’t grab them. Politely and not creepily make friend with them. This one could add as many as 15-plus years!

Drink more red wine with friends

Many studies have shown that red wine, in moderation, has numerous health benefits as does being surrounded by friends. Again, though, men benefit more from this.

Have more pets

Dogs (and I guess cats) are awesome. And our furry friends help both sexes live longer.

Live in the country

Sorry city dwellers, but country mice may live longer.

Get promoted

That’s right. If you are thriving and succeeding in your career you tend to live longer.

Have a long-lived sibling

If they have good genes, you probably do too.

Live at a high-altitude

You may want to consider a move to Colorado.

Though it seems like more of these were geared towards men, don’t worry ladies. First of all just being a woman gives you a leg up on the life game. Other more obvious findings for pro-longed life included regular health checks, getting married, quitting smoking, eating healthy, living healthily (diet and exercise combined) and avoiding cancer and heart disease.

As for things that are shaving years of your life, well some of them are pretty obvious but there are a few you may be surprised by.

Sleeping too much

Even though sleep can be so wonderful, sleeping too much is not a good thing. Catching up on sleep on the weekends can actually be quite bad for your health.

Sitting down

Again not surprising. Try to stand more.

Eating red meat

Apparently one can eat too much steak.

Suffering from severe mental illness, smoking and becoming obese were also listed.

Go to church regularly

Bringing a little faith into your life can have a positive effect.

Have more orgasms

Too bad this isn’t more helpful to women but this apparently makes life worth living for men. According to IIB, you should aim for 350 a year.


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Meredith Lepore|is the Deputy Editor of Ladders and can be reached at mlepore@theladders.com.