It really is possible to be bored to death, scientists have found, after research showed those who live tedious lives are twice as likely to die young.
People who complain of “high levels” of boredom in their lives are at double the risk of dying from from heart disease or a stroke than those who find life entertaining, researchers at University College London found.
Of more than 7,000 civil servants who were monitored over 25 years, those who said they were bored were nearly 40 per cent more likely to have died by the end of the study than those who did not.
People who are bored are more likely to turn to unhealthy habits like drinking and smoking, which can cut their life-expectancy, the scientists said.
Specialists from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London, studied the responses of 7,524 civil servants aged between 35 and 55 who were interviewed about their levels of boredom in the mid eighties. They then found out whether they had died by April last year.
The original survey found that one in ten civil servants had been bored within the past month, with women more than twice as likely to suffer than men. Younger employees and those with more menial jobs were also more prone to boredom.
Martin Shipley, who co-wrote the report published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, 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.”
Graham Price, a psychologist, said those who are bored should lift their spirits by thinking more about the needs of others.
“From being all me, me, me, they should be thinking, what can I do for my family, my friends, my colleagues, even my boss,” he said.