Great news this week for people who love gigs and hate the idea of dying: a recent study, commissioned by O2 mostly as a way to plug the O2 priority tickets system, suggests that seeing live music is actually good for your health. Like, scientifically. According to the research, conducted by O2 and Goldsmith’s University associate lecturer Patrick Fagan, going to gigs every two weeks could (operative word here) increase your life span by nine years. NINE.
On top of potentially making it to 100 rather than just 91 years old, the research signalled a link between enjoying live music and generally feeling better as a person. “Those who attend live concerts once a fortnight and more were the most likely to score their happiness, contentment, productivity and self-esteem at the highest level (10/10),” the O2 press release read, “suggesting that regularly experiencing live music is the key to building a long-standing improvement to wellbeing.”
Anyone else who works in music, or sees lots of live music as a paying punter, this is our time. Well, maybe minus the late nights, lack of exercise, booze and drugs that can go hand-in-hand with a lifestyle centred around an industry that easily runs well into the early hours. Surely that cancels those nine years out? Rather than guess, I’ll mathematically calculate how this latest revelation is likely to impact my life and, ultimately, guess when I’m going to die. Buckle up!!
A GENERAL STARTING POINT BASED ON BLIND GUESSING
I’m not about to shade my ancestors here, but reckon I’ll make it to around 79. Idk, I looked down at my hands yesterday and noticed how wrinkly they already are and just thought ‘frankly, there’s no need to keep this telomere-shortening going into my nineties, not sure I want to watch the world bow to our Mars colony-establishing overlords anyway.’ But seriously, based on how little exercise I take, my ethnic background and other stuff, let’s start with 79.
GIG-GOING: ADD NINE YEARS
Wild how this is the case even though I feel as though I'm going to collapse any time I have to go out for more than three weeknights in a row, but apparently this is good for me. Patrick Fagan from the study, who has a background in consumer psychology, said: “Our research showcases the profound impact gigs have on feelings of health, happiness and wellbeing – with fortnightly or regular attendance being the key.” With an average of two gigs a week, I'd say this counts. So let’s add nine years to my lifespan.
Death age: 87
DISGUSTING SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE: SUBTRACT, LIKE, TEN YEARS
The 2016 Guardian headline “Computers and health: 'When you're sitting, you're one step above being dead’” has stuck with me for years. It’s like the Pope’s “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth” tweet from 2015: Once you read it, and think ‘tag urself, I’m the entire statement,’ it’s hard to forget. So because I essentially work an office job and sit at a desk for at least eight hours a day, let’s go ahead and shave a decade off.
Death age: 77
NON-SMOKER: ADD THREE YEARS
Just can’t be bothered with having my hands smell like that. A Google search tells me that the average life expectancy of a non-smoking woman is 85, and a woman who smokes is 82, so I’ve slapped on three years.
Death age: 80
ONLY REALLY DRINKING RED WINE AS FAR AS BOOZE GOES: MAYBE LOSE ONE??
No one can decide whether red wine is great or is killing us, as all heavy consumption of alcohol tends to. Finding a middle ground between 'one glass of red a night helps you live longer, like a wise southern European!' and 'binge drinking of all sorts will roll you into an early grave,' let's say that drinking a glass or two with dinner every few nights will subtract one year.
Death age: 79
Thanks for nothing, live music.
You can find Tshepo contemplating her own mortality on Twitter.