Smile and say “cheese!”

By • Published: June 23rd, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Smile and say “cheese!” and you just might live longer.

Newly published research shows that the intensity of a person’s smile can have an impact on longevity.

Before you grin with disbelief, consider this: The study revealed that an ear-to-ear smile can add up to seven years to a person’s life.

That’s no laughing matter.

Researchers from Wayne State University used a sampling of two-hundred-thirty photographs of professional baseball players from the 1950s. They were selected because detailed life statistics were available for each, such as birth, death, education and marital status.

Using the Web, the scientists collected additional life information on the players.

They then controlled for such things as body mass, the length of the players’ careers and other factors that affect longevity.

The result? The players who showed whole-hearted grins lived the longest… reaching close to eighty years of age.

That’s seven years longer than their unsmiling baseball colleagues and almost two years longer than the average American.

Researchers say this is because genuine, heart-felt smiles reflect happier emotional states than half-grins or smirks or… worse yet… no smiles at all.

The connection between simple facial expressions and emotional conditions, such as happiness and sadness, has been demonstrated in other studies as well.

In fact, one recent study using yearbook photos showed a possible link between the intensity of a smile and the likelihood of experiencing a divorce.

Regardless of the research, consider that how you live life… and how long you live it… may be written all over your face. So cheese or not, smile!