What do fictional superheroes teach us about aging?

Necessary

  • Marvel Studios has produced 26 superhero movies.
  • The researchers conducted this study during a period of imprisonment between 2020 and 2021.
  • Each of them watched Marvel movies for between 8 and 50 hours.

Superheroes also need to be careful about their health. On the occasion of the Christmas edition of british medical journalIn this article, researchers present a study on the aging of superheroes, and their tips for having healthier years. ,Since superheroes are likely to live longer than most people, it seems reasonable to consider their associations with their health and aging trajectories and consequences.“, explain the authors of this research.

Superheroes get old, just like everyone else!

Environmental and socio-economic factors can influence aging, but it also depends on individual factors. Some of them, like genetics, are fixed but others are variable: diet, physical activity or smoking. In this work, the authors recognized that superheroes are no exception to this rule: their individual aging trajectories are guided by individual traits in the same way that anyone else is. To test this hypothesis, Australian researchers looked at 24 Marvel movies released between 2008 (Iron Man) and 2021 (Black Widow). According to him, all the heroes are getting old except Thor, who lived for several millennia.

No tobacco, little alcohol and a positive state of mind

First, he looked at his behavior: he saw that superheroes regularly engage in physical activity and exercise, which are important factors for healthy aging. Also, superheroes show higher levels of social cohesion and interaction, both of which are associated with a lower risk of dementia. They also display psychological resilience and a sense of purpose, as well as a positive or optimistic state of mind, all of which are associated with healthy aging. With the exception of Thor and Iron Man, superheroes don’t drink or smoke a lot, and these behaviors are also associated with longer, healthier lives. The scientists noted that Black Panther and Iron Man are highly intelligent, reducing the risk of dementia. Finally, the Black Panther’s vegetarianism also has a positive point: it increases its chances of aging in good health.

What are the risk factors for superheroes?

While they live in a fictional universe, superheroes are not spared from the risk to their health. Repeated loud noises, air pollution and multiple head injuries put superheroes at risk of dementia, physical injury and disability. For some superheroes, the risk factors are greater: for the Hulk, they are heart problems, a high body mass index, and rage too frequent. For Black Widow, childhood trauma increases the risk of physical and mental illness. As far as Spiderman is concerned, researchers suspect that his speed will allow him to get the 8 to 10 hours of sleep needed for a teenager his age. Australian scientists believe that superheroes should halt their efforts to keep the multiverse safe, and instead find solutions to allow universal access to health services. ,This would allow people in the multiverse, including superheroes, to enjoy a higher quality of life in old age.“, they conclude. However, Marvel Productions does not seem ready to turn into a place of prevention against aging!

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