Smile More, Live Longer

A happy face prolongs your life: Scientists
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2010 3:55 AM CDT
St. Louis Cardinals hitting instructor Mark McGwire smiles during a training session at a baseball practice facility in Huntington Beach, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010.   (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chris Lee)
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(Newser) – Scientists claim there's a new reason to put on a happy face: People who smile more aren't just more stable, happier in their marriages, and better at getting along with others—they also live longer. Researchers compared photos of 230 professional baseball players who started their careers before 1950 and found that those who smiled most intensely lived an average of seven years longer than those who weren't smiling at all.

Big smilers lived an average 79.9 years, partial smilers 75 years, and non-smilers 72.9 years. The researchers, whose results hold even when corrected for other factors such as obesity, say smiles are linked to positive emotion, which is in turn linked to physical and emotional health, and big smiles are more likely than partial smiles to be sincere reflections of positive emotion, the LA Times reports.
(Read more positive thinking stories.)

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