How to live longer: The seemingly benign habit that could shave ‘years’ off your life

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Longevity has become a fixation around the globe, with breakthroughs in ageing science helping millions pave their way into old age. Advancements in the field stress the importance of averting disease through diet. Yet illness takes many forms, and its causes are multi-faceted. One body of research suggests that texting, for example, could shave years off one’s lifespan.

Ageing research suggests that prolonged periods of texting could shorten lifespan in a variety of ways.

Surprisingly, one of the dangers of texting has been put down to its detrimental effect on posture.

According to the United Chiropractic Association, texting for a prolonged period could lower life expectancy by inciting people to lean forward.

This forward-leaning posture has been associated with a higher risk of developing hyperkyphosis.

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According to the website Spine Health: “Hyperkyphosis refers to an excessive curvature of the thoracic spine, commonly referred to as hunchback

“A kyphosis angel over 50 degrees is currently the standard for defining hyperkyphosis.”

The dangers of the condition lie mainly in the fact that it reduces the space available for the heart and lungs.

As these vital organs are put under pressure, they’re able to work less effectively.

Chiropractors estimate that the risk of death for an older person with hyperkyphosis equates to that of an obese person.

An article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2009 was the first to establish an association between hyperkyphosis and earlier death.

The paper found that women who have “worse degrees of kyphosis” had an increased risk of earlier mortality.

SpineHealth explains the condition “text neck”, which is caused by repetitive stress injury or overuse syndrome in the neck after texting, can cause nagging pain in the neck and shoulders.

Alongside the harm texting causes to our spine, further information that incites reevaluation of the relationship we have with our devices is cortisol, the stress hormone.

The New York Times explains that our phones may be threatening our health and shortening our lives by chronically raising levels of cortisol too.

To date, concerns regarding mobile use have focused mainly on the way they manipulate our dopamine systems.

Health experts speculate this arousal of our dopamine system is the root cause for widespread addiction to devices, but research shows significant increases in cortisol after phone use too.

The Mayo Clinic adds that “too much cortisol can cause some of the hallmark signs of Cushing syndrome, which results in fat being dumped between the shoulders”.

It also causes a rounded face, and pink or purple stretch marks on the skin.

As cortisol levels rise, so does our risk of high blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar.

Findings released by the National Institute for Health and Welfare in 2020, heavy stress was found to shorten lifespan 2.3 years.

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