If you want to live a healthy life, stay away from… telling lies.

New American research argues that those who often lie have an unhealthy life, while those who avoid telling lies have better health and more harmonious relationship with other people.

The research also concluded that not only serious lies but also innocent little fib, which is much easier to tell, can harm the body.

Researchers at the Catholic University of Notre Dame in Indiana, led by professor of psychology Anita Kelly, who presented the study at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Union, made a ten-week experiment on 110 people aged 18 to 71 years.

It was found that those who considerably reduced the number of lies told every day had significantly better health.

Half the participants were asked to cut off lying for the period of the experiment. At the same time, the other half did not receive such a recommendation and, therefore, could continue telling lies, as they did every day (and as all people usually do, whether they realize it or not). According to the researchers, the average person tells about 11 lies a week.

The researchers monitored the physical and mental health of both groups of volunteers and estimated the quality of their relationships with other people. To have a clearer picture of how many lies were told by participants, in reality, the researchers asked them to go through a polygraph test.

Thus, the researchers found that there was indeed a relationship between the number of told lies and the level of the participants’ health. For example, volunteers who told three fewer lies compared with the previous week, reported, on average, four fewer psychological complaints and three fewer physical complaints.

Those who were systematically telling fewer lies, to the fifth week of the experiment reached the point of feeling more honest and stated that they were feeling better, both physically and psychologically. Furthermore, the relationship with those around them improved significantly.

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