Boredom can kill you

Boredom could be shaving years off your life, scientists have found.

Researchers say that people who complain of boredom are more likely to die young, and that those who experienced 'high levels' of tedium are more than two-and-a-half times as likely to die from heart disease or stroke than those satisfied with their lot.

More than 7,000 civil servants were studied over 25 years - and those who said they were bored were nearly 40 per cent more likely to have died by the end of study than those who did not.

The scientists said this could be a result of those unhappy with their lives turning to such unhealthy habits as smoking or drinking, which would cut their life expectancy.

Specialists from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London, looked at data from 7,524 civil servants aged between 35 and 55 who were interviewed between 1985 and 1988 about their levels of boredom. They then found out whether they had died by April last year.

Researcher Martin Shipley, who co-wrote the report to be published in the International Journal of Epidemiology this week, said: 'The findings on heart disease show there was sufficient evidence to say there is a link with boredom.

'It is important that people who have dull jobs find outside interests to keep boredom at bay, rather than turn to drinking or smoking.'

Psychologist Graham Price added: 'It is important to distinguish between cause and effect. Are these people turning to drink and drugs because they are bored or because they have certain characteristics?

'For many people who are unmotivated or uninspired by life, or maybe have a tendency towards depression, the way out of it is to change their focus away from themselves and on to other people.

'From being all me, me, me, they should be thinking, what can I do for my family, my friends, my colleagues, even my boss.'

The original survey found that one in ten civil servants had been bored within the past month, with women more than twice as likely than men to suffer. Younger employees and those with more menial jobs were also found to be more prone to boredom.

Those who reported feeling a great deal of boredom were 37 per cent more likely to have died by the end of the study.

The whole session appeared to be a waste of time.... nothing appeared to be working properly. I didn't lose consciousness. I didn't go into a trance, or at least I didn't think I did, and yet after that session, not only did I stop smoking but I actually enjoyed the process. Allen Carr (an extract from Easy Way to Stop Smoking).

This is Bobbie from Narrogin. I don't know if you remember me as I know you see alot of people but I just wanted to say thankyou so much. I have not had a cigarette since leaving your office just over 2 weeks ago. I never thought the day would come when I could REALLY say I don't smoke anymore. I have been around my closest friends who ALL smoke and it hasn't bothered me at all except for the headache I get after being around all the crappy air. I really do feel so much better and for the first time since I was a teenager I actually eat cereal every morning and my energy is so much better. THANKYOU from the deepest part of my being you really saved me and changed my life. My husband and my girls are so happy and we have booked our holiday to Bali for September.
Any way thankyou again from my family and I.


Bobbie from Narrogin

Dear Phil,

I believe people these days are all too quick to make a complaint and not enough to praise the people who deserve it.

I came to see you early March 2009 as I was struggling to stop smoking. I have to admit I came to you a little sceptical however ready to give anything a go. By the time I left your practice I had no doubt in my mind I would never pick up another cigarette again.

I just simply want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart, you have no idea what you have done for my life, my husband has also been successful and with the money we have saved we have been able to buy a second house which will forever keep our family financially sound. I have still had no desire to have a cigarette. You have shown me how powerful my mind can actually be.

It really hit me this new years eve as everyone was making their new years resolutions this was the first time for many many years mine hasn't been to quit smoking. I have never felt so fantastic in all my life.

Again I just want to thank you, you very well could of saved my life and I am referring everyone I know to you.

I wish you and your practice a wonderful new year for 2010.


Alicia D