Fascinating Infographic Reveals the Surprising Habits That Help You Live Longer

Live Long Extended Lifespan Infographic by David McCandless

Stock Photos from ANYAANYA/Shutterstock

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?

You can see McCandless’ full research here and find more of his data-driven charts on the Information is Beautiful website.

This infographic by David McCandless reveals the best habits you can adopt for extending your lifespan.

Live Long Extended Lifespan Infographic by David McCandless

David McCandless: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by David McCandless.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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