“Based on their calculations, researchers Olivier Jolliet and Katerina Stylianou say that a single hot dog can subtract 36 minutes worth of what they call a ‘healthy life’ while a serving of nuts and seeds can add 25 minutes of the same.” – Mashed, 8/21/2021
Researchers at Harvard Medical School have been painstakingly researching all of the activities you personally enjoy doing to see how badly you’re screwing up your life by doing them. And as it turns out, those small joys have big consequences.
According to one trial, having a couple of spoonfuls of Ben & Jerry’s in between Zoom meetings is associated with a lifespan that’s about forty-three minutes shorter than average. (The study did not control for how much life is wasted by attending the Zoom meetings in the first place.)
Then come the post-workday risks. Sure, it’s called happy hour—but did you know that every 5 p.m. gin and tonic shaves sixty-two minutes off your life? That’s twelve minutes for the alcohol, eight minutes for the tonic, and forty-two minutes for the stress caused by desperately trying not to drunk-reveal in front of your manager that you’ve been the one stealing rolls of toilet paper from the ladies’ room.
And when it comes to weekend leisure activities, the report indicates that people who go out until 4 a.m. every weekend lose seventy-three minutes of life on average—precious time they could be spending sitting at home wondering why no one invited them to go out until 4 a.m.
Streaming is also a popular way to unwind—but it turns out that mathematicians estimate every episode of The Office subtracts twenty-one minutes from your life (twenty-four if you’re watching on Peacock).
On a positive note, the study found eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich can add four minutes to your life, thanks to all the healthy fats found in peanut butter. Of course, that only goes for all-natural, salt-, sugar-, and preservative-free peanut butter on seeded sprouted bread, sandwiched with jam made from sun-ripened organic pluots grown in the Loire Valley. Skippy and Smucker’s will cost you eight minutes, minimum—per dollop.
Speaking of which: enjoy fruits and vegetables? Great! Eating organic, healthy foods has once again been proven to extend your life by several years. Unfortunately, talking about how much you enjoy fruits and vegetables in front of other people can shorten your lifespan by several decades.
Researchers also found that you should probably think before taking that run through the park. All that sodium from your sweat can wreak havoc on your blood pressure, threatening to kill you fourteen minutes ahead of God’s will (though researchers have also found that, if you time it right, at least you can go out with a sweaty glow).
Nevertheless, maintaining a healthy self-image is crucial to a long life. The probe found that googling your friends from middle school to see whether their life ended up worse than yours subtracts seventeen minutes from your life—but if you find out your bully is working a miserable desk job, you get fifteen of those minutes back.
If that bully turns out to be a respected food critic or HGTV host, have no fear—there are other ways to make up for lost time: a cup of coffee in the morning, a glass of wine at dinner, and a small square of dark chocolate for dessert have all been shown to support a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, all must be delivered intravenously in order to have any kind of positive impact on lifespan.
The data also revealed an eye-popping statistic about companionship: every time you play with a golden retriever puppy, it lops sixteen minutes off your life. We don’t know why that’s the case—we assume it’s something to do with the fur? Or maybe the saliva? Look, the abstract of the study didn’t get into it, and we’re not about to pay for some medicine journal membership to find out. (Besides, inputting your credit card information on a .edu user interface depletes eighty-two minutes of life anyway.)
And finally, reading this clickbait about how you’re doing everything wrong has, in and of itself, brought you several minutes closer to death. So get it together!