How deep are the creases around your eyes? Assuming those creases are caused by smiling, the deeper they are, the more likely you are to live a long life, according to research from Wayne State University in Detroit. The team studied 230 photographs of major league baseball players, all of whom started playing before 1950. The photos, which were taken from the 1952 Baseball Register, were grouped according to the type of smile:
- No smile: A deadpan look. (63 players)
- Partial smile: Only the muscles around the mouth were grinning. (64 players)
- Full smile: Both the mouth and the eyes were smiling and the cheeks were raised. (23 players)
Since the Baseball Register also contains each player’s year of birth, body mass index, marital status and career length, all of which reflect physical fitness, the researchers were able to control for other factors that could affect lifespan. Of the players who had died as of June 1, 2009, those who were in the no-smile category lived, on average, 72.9 years, while those with partial smiles lived, on average, to 75. But the full-smile players lived much longer, to an average age of 79.9.