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Cheerful people die sooner [and other findings from 8-decade study]

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Beefcake, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Beefcake

    Beefcake Guest

    This study on longevity over eight decades seems to debunk a few beliefs that I've been taught.

    Study says:

    Cheery people die sooner [really good news for you Politically Incorrect regulars!]

    Having pets doesn't necessarily = a longer life.

    Less surprising is that substituting human/human social contact with pet interaction = shorter life. Also not surprising [to me at least] that retiring early can shorten one's life too.

    Statistical population was Californians ... not sure how or if the findings correspond to normal people. :p
  2. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    Well, I guess I'm doomed then... ;)
  3. Nan

    Nan Just me, retired

    Well, then...expect to see this grinch around until she's at least 90. :p
  4. Aaron W

    Aaron W Well-Known Member

    Both of my grandfathers still work - one part time for a natural gas company and the other as a farmer - and both seem to be holding up physically rather well compared to many other men of similar age. I think it's important to remain active as you get older, otherwise the body tends to regress much too quickly following retirement and you become feeble (of course it's possible to retire and still remain physically active, but I tend to see retirees slow down rather than maintain active lifestyles).
  5. Beefcake

    Beefcake Guest

    Yes! Formal work (or volunteer/family endeavors with real deliverables, schedules, and true & recurring responsiblities) forces the mind to remain active and under "good stress."

    My father retired from a middle management career at age 53, and stopped managing his small farm at 56. Thereafter, he really did nothing challenging with his mind beyond the usual life's endeavors such as banking, light travel, and following the stock market. His hobbies were, well, not really hobbies -- television/sports viewing, crossword puzzles, and reading the daily paper.

    I can't help but wonder whether his retiring later AND using his mind for more than the above would have helped him escape the dementia/Alzheimer's that took his three older siblings and is currently ravaging him (and our family)? I think "yes," it could have helped to AT LEAST delay the onset.

    If you have something to go to - a passionate challenge - then retire. If you're retiring from life's supposed challenges, rethink your plans!
  6. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    But at least they die laughing. :p
  7. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Hee, the thread title reminds me of a comment my mother once made about her mother: "She's too mean to die."

    The article you linked doesn't give enough detail to tell, but I wonder if the study they got this from controlled for the fact that people with existing health issues would be more likely to retire early. Is continuing to work until older ages a cause of longevity, or a result of it?
  8. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    I can totally see that the enforced positive thinking sort of cheery people will die sooner. I know a few of those. One was trying to think away pneumonia this winter by proclaiming to the universe that nothing was wrong with her. She's lucky she didn't end up in the hospital or dead.

    Some of those people aren't living in reality and that could kill them!