They might complain about getting up early and doing homework, but they’ll thank us when they’re older … or if they’re older. We say that because an extensive 90-year study found that kids who start school really early live shorter lives.
Researchers think the fact that kids are developing so fast at that age is exactly why it’s a terrible idea to start them too early. There’s a huge difference between 5- and 6-year-olds; on average, 6-year-olds are going to be much bigger, and 5-year-olds much less socially advanced. Throw them into the same classroom and they’re going to find it hard to relate to each other in a way that doesn’t involve the taking or giving of wedgies.
There are several disadvantages to being the youngest son: You are clothed with everyone else’s hand-me-downs, you get less attention than your brothers got when they were your age and you live in a house where practically everyone else can kick your ass. But as your brothers rub their saliva-soaked fingers in your ears and punch you in the shoulder, one thing you can always hang over their heads is that you’re less likely to get cancer of the balls. A recent study concluded that older sons have a much higher risk of getting testicular cancer than their younger brothers.
A recent study found that if a woman has a “pear-shaped” physique, then she has less of a chance of suffering from metabolic and heart diseases. It’s not just a matter of buying a crate of Fritos and sitting on your ever-expanding ass for a week; rather, it’s about having a genetic predisposition to grow fat on your butt and thighs instead of your stomach and other places.
Rich people generally have it made when it comes to life expectancy. You need a six-figure budget if you want to shop at one of those earthy grocery chains that sells nonprocessed fresh food. Those of us on more modest budgets are just thankful Taco Bell now comes wrapped in a big Dorito, since it allows us to hit the two most affordable foods for the price of one. And it probably can’t hurt that rich people get to spend weeks decompressing on tropical vacations while we get to vacation at the least polluted body of water within driving distance.
One of the disadvantages of living at higher altitudes is that there’s less oxygen in the air, which can suck for those with respiratory problems. One of the advantages of those places, however, is that … there’s less oxygen in the air. A lack of oxygen makes people’s bodies more efficient, which makes them live longer. In a four-year study, researchers from several institutions analyzed death certificates from every county in the U.S. and realized that most of the top 20 counties with the highest life expectancy happened to be in Utah and Colorado, two of the three highest states in the nation. Compared to those living near sea level, the people in those counties live up to 3.6 years longer for men and up to 2.5 years longer for women.
Believe it or not, there’s a town in California called Loma Linda where a significant chunk of the population lives five to 10 years longer than everyone else. The catch: They are all Seventh-Day Adventists. So it’s probably like Woody Allen said: “You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.”
For a lot of people reading this right now, the only point of having a job is saving up enough money so that eventually you’ll be able to afford not having a job. Maybe you picture yourself retiring in your 50s or earlier and spending the rest of your days chilling on your couch, not worrying about a thing. Unfortunately, doing that can kill you. Apparently, as soon as people decide to stop being useful, so do their bodies.
Studies show that people who retire later in life have better life expectancies than those who retire early. Even discounting the people who retired because of health problems and died soon after, the results still held up. While lounging around and doing nothing probably ensures you won’t die from stress-related health problems, there is such a thing as too much rest and relaxation — without goals or bosses to torment you, your body and mind lull into a stupor and slowly shut themselves down.