Study seeks to learn if boredom kills

Study seeks to learn if boredom kills

Recent research looks into tedium as a silent threat
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Mar 11, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

Do the mundane patterns of day-to-day life in the veterinary clinic sometimes get to you? Do the same old faces and situations leave you yawning? We've all heard the phrase, "bored to death," but has anyone ever really expired from ennui? Researchers at the University College of London's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health set about to discover the physiological effects of boredom.

Over 7,500 civil servants completed a questionnaire in which they were asked to rate their level of boredom (ranging from "not at all" to "all the time") during the previous four-week period. Study participants repeated the exercise three years later. Those who indicated a high level of boredom were also found to report worse health, lower positions of employment and lower levels of activity. Furthermore, the follow-up phase of the study determined that the very bored were more likely to die sooner than those who claimed less boredom.

The statistics, once adjusted for factors of personal health and occupational hazard, were deemed insignificant for definitive correlation. However, the researchers did conclude that while it's not to blame, boredom as a state of mind serves as a proxy for other aspects of behavior which could lead to increased risk for individuals. Those susceptible to regular boredom, it is proposed, may also be more prone to reckless behavior like substance abuse.

So find excitement in those daily reports and rounds—it beats the alternative.

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