One universal truth that we, as human beings, cannot escape is the fact that we’re all going to die. It might not be today, tomorrow, or a year from now, but one thing’s for sure. Death is an inevitable aspect of life, which all of us has an appointment with.
Yes, death is inevitable, but we have the capability either to delay or hasten it depending on the choices we make such as the way we live our lives. For example, common habits like smoking and not exercising regularly are known to decrease life expectancy significantly. However, there are some surprising things that we wouldn’t have guessed can actually cause us to have an early appointment with death.
10. Having Big Breasts
I know this claim sounds absurd, but science can back it up. Many women want bigger breasts for a number of reasons such as looking more attractive, increasing self-confidence, or simply pleasing their men. If you have an average breast size, then you should be grateful. Why? New studies show that having big breasts can cause numerous health ailments and even early death.
It’s been reported that women with big breasts suffer from a great deal of back, arm, and neck pain. In addition, some also report that they experience friction rash, headaches, and spine deformity due to their large breasts. The pain associated with having big breasts is so extreme that some women have to take medications everyday just for the pain to subside.
This might come as a surprise to you but a survey conducted recently showed that one in ten women have low self-esteem because of their big breasts. In addition, a third of those surveyed said that their big breasts give them a great deal of pain while working out. But perhaps the worst consequence of having large breasts is dying prematurely. Women with big breasts are more likely to die five years earlier than their expected lifespan.
9. Drinking Too Much Coffee
Drinking coffee is perfectly fine. It even has numerous health benefits. However, consuming too much of this beverage can cause you numerous health conditions and even premature death. A study published in the Journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings showed that people under the age of 55 who consume four or more cups of coffee everyday or 28 cups or more per week increase their risk of dying prematurely by as much as 56%.
This study is quite big, involving 43,729 people—9,827 of them were women and 33,900 were men. Moreover, this study evaluated the information gathered from filled up medical and personal history questionnaires between the years 1979 and 1998.
How can the overconsumption of coffee cause premature death? According to the experts who conducted the study, coffee has the capability to increase blood pressure, activate the production of epinephrine, and stop insulin activity. All of which can wreck havoc to your body. However, it should be noted, though, that the direct link between drinking too much coffee and premature death is not yet fully understood. The researchers admit that there are still some things that need “clarification”.
But just to be safe, if you’re under 55 and would like to live longer, then make sure to lessen your coffee consumption starting today.
8. Eating Whole Grains
I’m pretty sure you’re saying right now, “But whole grains are healthy!”, “They’re recommended by medical experts!”, “I’ve been eating them my whole life!” etc. Before you call me a liar, consider these facts first.
Whole grains contain phytates which block the absorption of certain essential minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, and calcium. Studies show that eating grains can block the absorption of iron by as much as 50%. In addition, magnesium, which is a vital mineral capable of staving off type 2 diabetes as well as calcium which is needed for preventing osteoporosis, are also blocked by phytates. And worst of all, eating grains can decrease your sex drive since it inhibits the absorption of zinc. Even if you take supplements, they still won’t be absorbed and used by your body properly if you continue eating whole grains.
Not convinced yet? How about this: studies show that whole grains, particularly wheat, have been linked to the development of certain autoimmune diseases. Lectins, which are present in wheat, can potentially cause lupus, hypothyroidism, eczema, and other autoimmune diseases.
7. Taking Sleeping Pills
Many people these days are suffering from insomnia, and to treat this problem doctors often prescribe sleeping pills. However, a certain study shows that taking sleeping pills can cause premature death. To be more specific, people taking sleeping medications are five times more likely to die prematurely than non-users. And worst of all, even if the dosage is low like 4 to 18 pills a year the risk doesn’t diminish. In fact, people who take this number of pills annually are 3.6 times more likely to die prematurely than those who are not taking any sleeping medication.
Alarmingly, those who are taking 18 to 132 pills annually increase their risk of dying prematurely by as much 4.4%. Those who take 132 or more pills annually are 5.3 times more likely to experience an untimely death. The bad news doesn’t end there. Those who take 132 pills a year increase their risk of developing cancer by as much as 35%. If you don’t want to die prematurely, then ditch the pill the next time you find yourself awake and irritated at 2 o’clock in the morning.
6. Consuming Too Much Salt
If you’re addicted to fast foods and processed foods, then you should definitely do your best to stop, not because they are rich in fat but because of their high sodium content. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) warns that eating foods that are high in salt can cause early death.
Aside from causing kidney stones, salt can also cause hypertension, which can lead to stroke and heart attack. The American Heart Association strongly encourages people to limit their sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams per day. Those who are suffering from hypertension should only take 1,500 milligrams of salt daily.
But AMA admits that doing so is virtually impossible. Why? Consider this. One McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese has 1,190 mg of salt. On the other hand, One Wendy’s Chicken BLD salad with no dressing has 1,280 mg. No wonder 65 million Americans have hypertension and 500,000 people die each year due to stroke and heart disease.
The TMA estimates that if food manufacturers and restaurants reduce the sodium content of their products, 150,000 people would be saved from dying prematurely due to the complications caused by hypertension.
5. Living All By Yourself
People living alone are more likely to die early compared to those who are living together with their families or partners. Thankfully, this only applies to elderly people, specifically those aged 52 and above.
This finding was based on a British study that involved 6,500 participants and which lasted for seven years. According to this study, people who live alone, without considering their pre-existing conditions, are 26 percent more likely to die than those who live together with other people. When pre-existing illnesses are taken into account, elderly people who are socially isolated are 48 percent more likely to experience premature death. Previous studies show that aside from dying prematurely, those who live alone, whether they prefer it or not, are also at higher risk of developing dementia and heart disease.
Fortunately, the risk of dying early can be easily reduced if elderly people are given the emotional and social support they need. Just by socializing with other people and engaging them in activities that decrease their loneliness, elderly individuals who live alone can significantly extend their life expectancy.
4. Sitting Too Much
If you’re sitting right now, then you’d better stand up. Studies show that sitting for long periods of time can cause numerous serious health conditions and even premature death. A research conducted in the University of Leicester showed that people who spent most of their time sitting down, whether at work or at home, increased their risk of heart disease and diabetes. Furthermore, this research, which had 800,000 participants, discovered that even if people exercise regularly, their risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and even obesity will not decrease if they spend most of their time sitting on an office chair or couch.
In addition, what’s more alarming is the fact that sitting can cause premature death. An Australian study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that adults aged 45 and above increased their risk of dying prematurely by as much as 40% just by sitting for 11 or more hours everyday.
There’s a scientific reason why sitting for long hours is unhealthy and deadly for us. Sitting down is interpreted by our “intelligent” bodies as signal for our systems to go into storage mode. When this happens, a lot of unhealthy things can occur. For instance, the glucose levels in our bodies spike up, good cholesterols are reduced while the unhealthy ones increase, and we become resistant to insulin. In other words, the more we sit down, the unhealthier we become.
3. Breathing Air
Yes, that’s right. The simple act of breathing can significantly decrease your life expectancy. And if you’re living in a major city or in an area that is heavily polluted, then your risk of dying prematurely due to breathing polluted air significantly increases.
According to a study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 200,000 people every year die prematurely in the U.S. due to air pollution. 53,000 of them die due to health problems caused by car pollution. Another 52,000 of these deaths are caused by the air pollution produced by generating electrical power. Alarmingly, the city which has the most deaths related to breathing polluted air is Baltimore. Other cities include Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Atlanta.
So just how many years are deducted from those who are constantly exposed to breathing polluted air? Ten years.
2. Having an Unfulfilling, Stressful Job
When we hear people say “My job is killing me”, we obviously don’t take that literally. However, new studies show that this common workplace sentiment (which I’m sure many of us have blurted out once, twice, or a hundred times) might be literally true. Our jobs can cause us to die prematurely! You don’t believe me? Well, here are the facts.
According to a study conducted by the University College London in 2012, people with stressful jobs are 23 percent more likely to experience heart attack than those with less demanding occupations. In addition, those with highly stressful jobs, like being the president of the United States, are more likely to age faster. Not only that but also those who work for more than 11 hours a day greatly increase their risk of developing depression.
In addition, those with demanding jobs also experience difficulties in their relationships outside of work. The bad news doesn’t end there. Women with demanding careers are more likely to develop diabetes too. And to top it off, a study conducted by the Tel Aviv University, which lasted for 20 years, showed that people with stressful jobs and whose work environments are hostile are more at risk of experiencing early death compared to those whose workplaces are friendly and positive.
1. Not Having Enough Sex
Yes, that’s right! Not having enough sex can cause you to die prematurely. In contrast, those who engage in sex regularly are more likely to increase their life expectancy. Numerous studies show that regular sex can increase blood circulation, decrease blood pressure, and enhance cholesterol levels. Aside from that, sex is a good weight loss regimen too. Just 30 minutes of bed play with your partner, and you’ll burn 200 calories. In addition, sex can also protect you from diseases like colds and coughs since it enhances your immune system.
If you’ve been feeling a bit stressed lately, then you better have a long and sensual lovemaking session. Having sex can help you relax and reduce your stress levels by releasing oxytocin which stimulates the production of endorphins, “the happy hormones”.
And I’m not done yet. Having sex can make you look and feel younger too since it can help you become more energetic and produce collagen, a substance that keeps your skin glowing and supple. But best of all, having regular intercourse can prolong your life. A study conducted by the Duke University showed that women who engage in regular sex are likely to add eight more years to their lifespan. On the other hand, men who have regular orgasms reduce their likelihood of dying prematurely by as much as 50%.
The next time you have sex, think of its many health benefits and how it can prevent you from dying prematurely.