How to shorten your life

Slow healing (part 9)

If you really want to cut short your time with the rest of us here on earth, here’s how — borrowing from two sources, just as we did for the blog on how to live longer.

The statistician

David Speigenhalter has some research-led findings on what to do if you really want to lop some years off your span. Here’s how different behaviours can get you into the world of the below-average.

  • Smoke 14-24 ciggies per day: take off seven years from your expected lifespan.1
  • Be obese: take off 2.5 years
  • Eat one portion of red meat per day: take off one year
  • Every alcoholic drink after the first each day: take off 0.7 years.
  • Watch TV for two hours per day: take off 0.7 years.2
Jewish wisdom

The Bible too has a some surprising views on unhealthy lifestyle–though not all of them are things you can do much about:

  • Having a wife of dubious character (Proverbs 12:4) (fortunately I’m OK on that score)
  • Hope deferred (Proverbs 13:12)
  • Envy (Proverbs 14:30)
  • A crushed spirit (17:22 and 18:14)
  1. What this really means is, you have a likelihood-to-die of a person seven years older than you currently are.
  2. All these are from the appendix to his book The Norm Chronicles

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