Here are just a few of the ways gardening can benefit your physical and mental health.
Through history, some have concluded that a pessimistic attitude, although justified, must be avoided. Worrying takes years off your life, right? Well, maybe not. Pessimists rejoice: happy-go-lucky, care-free peers of yours probably won’t live as long as you. New research suggests that the pessimists wind up outlasting the optimists.
Researchers in Finland have found that having a boy, historically speaking, shortens a mother’s life expectancy by a statistically significant amount. Their study, which looked at Finnish villagers in pre-industrial Scandinavia, showed that a woman’s risk of death increased by seven percent per year for each son born. By investigating parish records for individuals in eight parishes who lived during the seventeenth to mid-twentieth centuries, “they found that if a woman in these communities was 37 years old at the time of having her last child, her life expectancy would vary depending on the sex of her children.”
Although many studies have shown that there are trade-offs between longevity and reproduction, whether such trade-offs exist in humans has been a matter of debate. In many species, including humans, males live shorter than females, which could be due to the action of male sex hormones. Castration, which removes the source of male sex hormones, prolongs male lifespan in many animals, but this issue has been debated in humans.
In a study published in the journal Aging on May 21, researchers surveyed people who were over the age of 95 and found that most of them had positive personality traits, making them upbeat and relaxed about life. That suggests personality traits such optimism could be part of the longevity genes mix, they said.