Here's a rather interesting article from the Daily Mail:
It lists the findings of quite a few different studies on a number of different parts of life, and is a fairly entertaining read.
A few quotes:
ADDS YEARS TO YOUR LIFE
People who get up early and busy themselves all day long are heading for an early grave, says public health expert Professor Peter Axt. He believes lazing about is the key to a long life and an antidote to professional stress, provided people are otherwise healthy.
He suggests: 'Waste half your free time. People who would rather take a midday nap instead of playing squash have a better chance of living into old age.' Research shows that people who run long distances into their 50s are using up energy they need for other purposes such as cell renewal and fighting disease, he adds.
As examples of his thesis, he has pointed to the increased longevity of zoo animals - for instance lions in the Serengeti live only eight years, but can live to the age of 20 in a zoo; Arctic polar bears last 20 years in the wild, but 40 in captivity. Human examples are priests, nuns and monks, who tend to live quieter lives.
Lazing about: Why hit the gym 5am when you can spend the day on the sofa AND live longer?
Another added benefit is that our brains are much more active when we daydream than previously thought. 'Mind wandering is typically associated with negative things like inattentiveness,' says psychology Professor Kalina Christoff at the University of British Columbia. 'But research shows our brains are very active when we daydream, much more than when we focus on routine tasks.'
The findings suggest that daydreaming, which can occupy as much as one third of our waking lives, is an important cognitive state where we sort through important information."
STIMULATES THE BRAIN
Loud music: Heading off to rock festivals, or simply turning up the volume on your home amplifier might be good for your brain power
Heading off to rock festivals, or simply turning up the volume on your home amplifier might be good for your brain power.
According to researchers at Manchester University, music fans are stimulating part of the inner ear known as the sacculus, which responds to the beat in music. This gives the brain pleasure and makes us feel good - during the music and afterwards.
The sacculus, which is not thought to have any hearing function in humans, appears to be sensitive only to very loud volumes, above 90 decibels.
Neil Todd, an expert in the scientific study of music, explains that the sacculus seems to be part of a primitive hearing mechanism that has slowly been lost as humans have evolved.
He said it has a connection to the part of the brain responsible for drives such as hunger, sex and hedonistic responses.
When these desires are satisfied, the brain is stimulated into releasing feelgood hormones that make us calm, happy and responsive. So to trigger a dose of happy hormones on a Monday morning, you should, in theory, choose Black Sabbath over chamber music."