Okay, so there haven't been any definitive studies that prove designers live longer than people in other jobs. But we reckon it's a pretty sure thing. Here are seven solid reasons to believe us designers will keep going, and going, and going.
01. We have a sense of purpose
Designers live for design. We're passionate about it. We think about it constantly. It's the thing that makes us get in the morning with a spring in our step. And while it might cause a few issues if we become too obsessive (see 10 reasons not to date a designer), it's this fired-up sense of purpose that's ultimately going to make us live longer.
While it's natural to think of body and our mind as separate entities, they're deeply interdependent - so it's a case of healthy mind, healthy body. This article from Life Hacker explains how the women of Okinawa, Japan are known for having a positive outlook on life and pursuing their ikigai ('reason for being'). And it's no coincidence that the Japanese have an average life expectancy of 83, the highest in the world - with Okinawans the longest-lived of all.
In short, having that new project to do, that design that's going to change the world, doesn't just make life worth living right now. It should help you live longer too.
02. We drink lots of water and tea
We designers are constantly filling up on water, tea or coffee. Admittedly too much of the latter can cause poor health, not to mention a shaky hand on the mouse and the need to remortgage to pay for all those Mochas. But the antioxidant flavonoids in tea are recognised as beneficial to cardiovascular health, along with bowel regulation and weight gain. In short, a cup of tea is likely to make you live longer. And green tea, or water, is even better for you.
03. We're more educated
We don't like to brag, of course. But in general, we designers are highly educated beings. And highly educated people - according to this report from USA Today and this report from US News - live longer. That's partly due to the sense of goal-driven purpose, mentioned in point 1, that following a course can give you. So maybe the new year's a good time to re-energise yourself with an evening class or two.
04. We like a laugh
Hands up who wants to go to the pub with a bunch of corporate lawyers and accountants? Anyone? Okay, that might be a little mean, but it's certainly true that designers are more renowned for their ability to laugh than other more staid professions. Maybe that's because we get a lot of practice dealing with bizarre client requests (you have to laugh or else you start to cry).
According to research from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Yeshiva University, the more you laugh, the healthier you'll stay and the longer you may live. So next time the client asks you to "design the site and we'll put in the content later" (see things you should never ask a designer), don't stress, have a good chuckle - and keep prolonging that lifespan.
05. We do a lot of cycling
Cycling is very popular among us designers - and is one of the best forms of exercise around. And as everybody knows, exercise helps you live longer; this Taiwanese study, for example, suggests just 15 minutes of exercise per day can add three years to your life.
If you've not ridden a bike since childhood, we'd certainly recommend it. Cycling fits in with the designer lifestyle down to a tee, plus it gives you the chance to wear stuff like these awesome Milltag jerseys designed by one of your peers - this one by Rebecca J Kaye is particularly lovely.
Also read: Bike art: 10 beautiful designs
06. We don't live dangerously
Every year over 250,000 injuries are reported in the workplace in the UK. The industries that have the highest death toll are agriculture, manufacturing and construction. In comparison, the design community is pretty safe.
When was the last time you had to handle dangerous substances or lift heavy objects as part of your day to day routine? Yes, design can be hard work, but it's unlikely to injure or kill you - and for that we should be thankful.
07. We have everything live for
Minor gripes aside, we love our jobs. We earn a decent living from them (at least once we're past the design intern stage). The industry as a whole is expanding; there's always new stuff to learn and boundaries to push. We'll certainly never be bored.
Even when we retire, we'll probably carry on working in some way or other. Yes, we know we can't live forever - but we're going to damn well going to stick around as long as we can, because design is our dream. And when it comes to keeping the reaper at bay, that counts for a heck of a lot.
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- The designer's guide to getting a life
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Do you have any tips for living longer? Perhaps you've an elixir to share? Discuss this article in the comments below!