AVERAGE life expectancy can be extended by up to 10 years as long as you are willing to reek like a Frenchman, it was claimed last night.
A new study found that showers are filled with deadly bacteria, vindicating the French habit of using them as a place to string up dead geese.
Research director Professor Henry Brubaker said: "Every time you turn on a shower you may as well be smearing great handfuls of dog mess into your chest.
"Of course the French will claim to be ahead of the curve but the fact is they know nothing of shower based bacteria and simply enjoy stewing in their own effluent."
He added: "Nevertheless it is better to carry the heady stench of the Gaul than expose yourself to the sort of tiny risks that generate gigantic headlines."
The French currently enjoy one of the highest rates of life expectancy in the developed world with many experts claiming they would live even longer but for their habit of driving to each other's birthday parties on the wrong-side of the road while wearing a blindfold.
Jean-Pierre Clichy, a smallholder from Gascony, said: "Eet ees a most excellent place for ze 'anging of ze geese. Ah also use ze tray for growing ze champignons and fattening ze rabbeets.
"Eef ah was to use eet for washing myself like some American woman ma cheese would lose eets distinctive flavour."
Architect Claude Dufarge insisted Parisiens use their showers in a more sophisticated fashion than their rural counterparts, adding: "Ah 'ave a cubicle een ma appartement. Ah use eet as a place for contemplation and for 'aving sex wiz ma neighbour's 19 year-old daughter, after which ah smoke une cigarette and loathe myself."
Meanwhile the relatively hygienic Japanese still top the table for the longest average lifespan, but experts say that is down to a lifestyle which includes a large amount of oily fish in their showers.