The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Instagram

Read this and live longer

Out There
 Read this and live longer
Read this and live longer

Read this and live longer

Science has proven to us that some lifestyle choices noticeably decrease your chances of living a long life, such as obesity and lack of exercise. Science has also proven to us that excessive exposure to radiation (from computer monitors, televisions and other things we can’t live without) causes cancer, a fact we also accept.

But this is not enough. We constantly hear news stories about “scientists” who have conducted stupid research projects to prove how every little thing we do will eventually kill us. It’s enough to make you want to stay in bed and never set foot outside again.

Actually, that’s a bad idea. According to researchers at the University of California, sleeping late can lead to an earlier death. People who sleep 7 hours a night apparently live longer than those of us who like to sneak in 10 or more on the weekends. I bet these statistics were compiled by one of those annoying “morning people” – the kind that will wake you up early on Saturday morning humming the entire score to The Sound of Music.

So, this report upsets you, and you want to write a letter to your government officials. You’d better make sure you’re not left-handed, or else you’ll lose an entire year off of your life! That’s correct, left-handers 65 and up are first in line to shuffle off this mortal coil. Granted, this actually means right-handers get an extra year at the end of their life – when they’re feeble and bedridden – but it’s still upsetting to realize you can be hosed because of a totally arbitrary decision on the part of your brain.

Speaking of government, according to News24.com, you’ll live longer if you’re French. Despite the fact that some people believe the French eat and smoke too much, they enjoy some of the highest life expectancy rates in the Europe. This may be due to the fact that drinking wine increases one’s longevity.

If these reports dishearten you, try turning to religion. A review of more than 40 “scientific studies” has found that people who were most involved in their religions were 29 percent more likely to live longer than their nonreligious counterparts. If these statistics make you want to enter a convent, you might want to keep reading – a two-year “study” of elderly hospitalized patients, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that spiritual struggles like feeling abandoned by God increased the risk of dying by as much as 28 percent.

Some of these studies are unbelievably dumb, dumb, dumb. An article from BBC news, for example, heralds the result of a research project that probably took a good amount of money and manpower to complete – “Clever people live longer.” I suppose that explains why people who are smart enough not to poke at wolverines with sticks tend to live longer than those who do.

Another great article from the BBC reveals that you can prolong your life simply by winning an Academy Award! A study by Canadian scientists of every actor and actress to win the Oscar shows that they can look forward to an extra four years of life. And double Oscar winners are likely to outlive their colleagues by an extra six years. One of the scientists explained this phenomenon by saying, “Once you get the Oscar it gives you an inner sense of peace and accomplishment that can last for your entire life. That alters the way your body copes with stress.” Well, yes, I suppose that winning an Oscar is somewhat like reaching nirvana, except I don’t think that The Eight-Fold Path includes a post-ceremony party at Studio 54.

Sure, this all seems like harmless fun, and I’m sure these “scientists” are having a good laugh. But we humans are a superstitious lot – presented with “authentic research,” we’re likely to believe anything laid out in front of us. And most of it is conflicting information. Sleeping on your right side has been shown to exacerbate heartburn due to the effect of gravity on the curvature of the esophagus. Sleeping on your left side puts too much pressure on the heart. Sleeping on your stomach can increase the pressure on the diaphragm and keep the lungs from fully expanding while breathing. Sleeping on your back causes you to snore.

It’s enough to give a hypochondriac permanent insomnia.

And for those people who are frequent participants in sex, you might want to see a priest as soon as possible.

Quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of these reports telling me what I can and can’t do. They’re simply excuses for overpaid university labhounds to get published, and a disgrace to the name of real science. Haven’t these charletons ever heard of “crying wolf?”

This makes me so mad, I’m going to eat a Hershey bar. After all, the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston reports that people who eat candy live longer.

More to Discover