Is Rock Climbing a Great Way to Increase Your Life Span?

Great Ideas in Science and Technology (GIST)

If you’d like to live longer, it’s entirely possible that the best thing you could do is join a rock climbing gym.

I listened to a lot of TED talks yesterday to get through a 14-hour long drive from Ann Arbor to Boston. In the mix, I heard Jane McGonigal‘s talk on how games can increase your lifespan by roughly ten years.

Take away the game wrapper, and her thesis boiled down to an assertion that people can do four basic things to extend their lives:

  1. Be active (or, at least, refrain from being inactive).
  2. Set and achieve small goals.
  3. Connect with other human beings.
  4. Experience positive emotions—potentially by seeing cute things.

Listening to the talk, it struck me that my newest physical hobby, rock climbing at a rock gym, is one of the most efficient ways to achieve all four of those things. Here’s the breakdown.

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