Most of us want to live a long and happy life, but with so many health and wellness tips out there, it’s hard to know which advice to follow. A good diet and plenty of exercise is a given, but there are also other—more surprising—ways to increase your lifespan. Founder of Information is Beautiful, David McCandless visualizes real scientific data in an infographic that reveals the best habits you can adopt for extending your life.
The chart shows that sleeping too much can actually reduce your lifespan. McCandless explains, “7 hours is ideal, but no more than 8 hours a night.” Also worth noting is that being optimistic can help you live longer, especially for females. The infographic reveals, “Women with highest levels of cynical hostility are 16% more likely to die earlier.” Despite this, men who spend more time with women in their formative years can actually increase their lifespan by an extra 15 years.
Along with spending more time outdoors, exercising more, and not smoking, the chart suggests that owning pets is good for you. Cat owners will be glad to hear that you’re 30% less likely to have a heart attack. Even spending time with friends can help you live longer—the chart reveals that loneliness is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes per day.
So, what’s the “ultimate recipe” for a long life? McCandless’ witty chart explains you just need to be a “married happy-go-lucky outdoors-loving sex-mad hippy party-girl in senior management with a cat.” Simple, right?