Health, The Good Life, Zoomer Report

Bored to Death

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It turns out the expression bored to death, is not just a turn of phrase…

Two public health professors at the University College London discovered people who were very bored had a 37 per cent higher chance of dying than people who know how to keep their minds engaged.

According to the study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology boredom is more a symptom than a cause of death, and people who were bored also were likely to hold down menial jobs, get little exercise, feel unhappy and unmotivated, and to smoke, drink or do drugs.

The researchers crunched numbers from a questionnaire filled more than 7000 civil servants filled out between 1985-1988. Then they compared the results with mortality rates as of April 2009.

The ones who were bored in 1985 and still bored in 1988 were at greatest risk, the study said. The likely cause of death was cardiovascular disease.

The researchers found younger women tended to be the most bored, and to be in low employment grades and report lower physical activity.

The least bored people 50-55 year-old men with top-level jobs who engaged in vigorous physical activity.

Bottom line: there might not be much you can do about your job, but finding renewed interest in social and physical activities can improve your health, and prevent you from literally being bored to death.

Zoomer Report with Libby Znaimer

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