Think fast! If your buddy tosses you a beer unexpectedly instead of handing it to you, how likely are you to catch it? Well, those same reactions honed by years of juvenile bro-on-bro pranks and video games might be helping you cheat death.
A study published in PLOS One found that people with slow reaction times were twenty-five per cent more likely to have died over a fifteen-year period than those with quick reaction times. The study involved over 5,000 participants, all of whom had their reaction times tested at the beginning of the study. Phase two of the study was simple: wait for participants to die. At the end of the fifteen years, 7.4% had done so, and once researchers controlled for age, sex, ethnic group, and socio-economic background, they found that people with slow reaction times were twenty-five per cent more likely to have died.
Why? Well, aside from the fact that reaction time is important when it comes to preventing accidents and things like that, reaction time is also a good measure of the health of one’s nervous system. Want to test yours? Here you go; keep in mind, though, that a terrible internet connection doesn’t mean an early death.