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Professor Measures Lifespan in ‘Microlives’

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Ever wonder how long you'll live? Most of us have at one time or another.
 
Health professionals often remind us that our lifestyle choices affect our longevity. Now a college professor has come up with a novel -- if unconventional -- way to measure how we take time off our life spans.
 
Writing about his findings in the British Medical Journal, David Spiegelhalter, a professor of statistics at the University of Cambridge, coins the term "microlife" -- which equals a half-hour of your life expectancy.
 
According to Spiegelhalter, time sure does fly!
 
Each time you smoke a cigarette, have more than one alcoholic drink, watch two hours of television or eat a hamburger you lose a microlife, or half an hour off your lifespan.
 
However, Spiegelhalter adds that microlives are gained by exercise, reducing alcohol intake, eating fruits and vegetables, and taking statin drugs that control cholesterol.
 
The professor admits his system is more for popular than for scientific consumption. Even so, he says it can be useful for health professionals.
 
Maybe thinking of a burger as thirty minutes off your life is just another way to curb your appetite.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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