Finally, some good news. Sex makes work better, according to a study out of Oregon State University, and it does so equally for men and women. Of 159 married employees who filled out surveys, those who had sex reported better moods the next day, the effects of which appeared to last at least a full 24 hours. And, go figure, being in a better mood led to more reported engagement and satisfaction on the job. (The reason for the uptick in mood was not determined, just the correlation.)
"Making a more intentional effort to maintain a healthy sex life should be considered an issue of human sustainability, and as a result, a potential career advantage," said study author Keith Leavitt in a press release.
And while it is remarkably un-shocking that sex can benefit people, the idea that purposefully including sex as a regularly scheduled practice is definitely a newer trend—as is mindfulness in general. Sex, after all, releases the good brain chemicals that make daily life that much more enjoyable: dopamine and oxytocin. You can't easily overdose on those, so why not get them in circulation more?
Here's more evidence that an active sex life should in fact be a health priority—just in case you needed a reason.
A Healthy Lifespan
A recent study found that women who reported sexual activity during a week-long trial period had longer telomeres. Yes, telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that shorten due to age and outside stress, making them a pretty good indicator of health and even premature mortality. The study wasn't big enough to conclude that having sex slows the ageing process. But then again, it doesn't disprove that, either.
A Healthy Marriage
A new study published in Psychological Science found that newlywed couples reported 48 hours of "sexual afterglow," or relationship and sexual satisfaction, after having sex—no matter how often they had it. Those who glowed the most were more satisfied in their marriages from the start, as well as four and six months down the road, leading researchers to believe sex strengthens "pair bonding" in couples.
A Healthy Heart
Though recent research found that frequent sex leads to a higher risk of heart attack, heart failure, or stroke in men over the age of 57—but not older women—the cardiovascular health of younger men still stands to benefit from sex. According to a 2010 study, men who reported having sex at least twice a week were 45 percent less likely to suffer a cardiovascular disease than men who only had sex once a month or less.
A Healthy Prostate
In an enormous study of 32,000 men over 18 years, researchers found that frequent ejaculation was correlated with lower instances of prostate cancer. For example, men in their forties who ejaculated at least 21 times a month were 22 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who ejaculated only 4 to 7 times a month. (Ejaculation doesn't necessarily imply sex, but close enough.)
A Healthy Immune System
Weekly sex has been linked to higher levels of immunoglobulin A in saliva, which helps the body fight off cold viruses—even if having more sex would seem to indicate a greater risk for spreading seasonal bugs.
A Healthy Dose of Vanity
Over the 10-year study, a panel of judges was asked to guess the ages of a group of 3,500 men and women, and one group of participants was consistently estimated to be seven to 12 years younger than their actual age. These "super-young" participants reported having more active sex lives than other age groups, around one more time a week on average than the control group's average.
A Healthy Brain
A study conducted among young women ages 18 to 29 found that those who more frequently had penetrative sex were better at remembering words than those who didn't. The study authors believed that because sex helps stimulate the growth of new brain cells in the memory-storing hippocampus, sex gave short-term memory a boost.
A Healthy Outlook
Regular sex has regularly been linked to lower stress levels, related to higher oxytocin levels. This circles back to job satisfaction as reported in the most recent study: In 2014 Americans said work injects the second most amount of stress into their lives, right after money. Plus, all these aforementioned benefits help people live longer—and wouldn't you know, sex is also linked to longevity, which gives everyone more time to have fulfilling jobs and partake in fulfilling sex. Full circle.