Do your possessions influence your life expectancy?

04Dec09

It’s been years since I owned a car, and I couldn’t be happier about it. The endless saga of buying, cleaning and repairing the car really eats away at you — not to mention accidents, vandalism, and other stuff that’s beyond your control. I certainly have less stress living a car-free lifestyle in the city, and less stress is generally considered to be good for your health. Driving is also quite dangerous statistically, meaning that those who drive to work are probably more likely to die in an accident versus those who walk or take public transit.

This makes me wonder: do certain possessions actually change your life expectancy? If I had to guess, the answer is a resounding “Yes”. In particular, people who eliminate high-stress, high-maintenance products from their lives are probably happier and healthier than average, while avoiding high-risk behaviors like driving on highways during rush hour. It’s not limited to cars, either. For instance, I bet people who buy a high-rise condo are less stressed out and probably live longer than those who are enslaved to caring for their house, yard, deck, garage… well, you get the idea.

Do I have any hard evidence for this? Nope. But I’d love to see someone run a study showing what the relationships actually look like. If people could see how certain possessions are actually taking away years from their life, I bet they’d think twice about some of their purchase decisions.



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