Follow this checklist of 15 tips and you could add up to 77 years to your life. Sound too good to be true? Not according to new research from (UK) Norwich Union. Simple things, such as enjoying a good laugh and eating healthfully, can give a huge boost to your longevity.
01 Be married/live with a partner – add 1 year. Norwich Union data show that people who are married or live with a partner can expect to live on average a year more than their single friends.
02 Maintain a healthy weight – add 6 years. Being severely obese (having a body mass index above 40) could reduce your life expectancy by around 4 years. (A healthy BMI level is between 18.5 and 25). On the other hand, being underweight might reduce your life expectancy by 2 years, so maintaining a healthy weight is vital.
03 Don’t smoke – add 10 years. Research carried out at the University of Helsinki has found that people who don’t smoke can expect to live up to 10 years longer than those who smoke 20 cigarettes a day.
04 Love to laugh – add 8 years. People who laugh for 15 minutes each day could add an extra 8 years to their lives.
05 Be a woman – add 3.3 years. Around the world, women tend to outlive men by around 10%. According to UK Government statistics, UK women now have a projected average life expectancy of 91.8 years at birth, compared to 88.5 years for men.
06 Clear out the clutter – add 1 year. People who live in jumble and chaos are more likely to feel stressed and depressed.
07 Eat well – add 6.6 years. According to Erasmus University in Rotterdam, a diet that includes daily consumption of garlic, vegetables, fruits and almonds could extend life expectancy by up to 6.6 years.
08 Eat less meat – add 3.6 years. A study carried out at (USA) Loma Linda University found that people who ate meat less than once a week on average lived 3.6 years longer than their carnivore counterparts.
09 Have a positive outlook – add 9 years. Studies have shown that those with an optimistic outlook are less prone to viruses and recover quicker from illnesses and injuries. These people tend to act in ‘healthier’ ways than negative people by taking more exercise and enjoying social activities.
10 Live in Eastbourne (if you live in UK) – add 6.2 years. According to The University of Sheffield, inhabitants of West Eastbourne in East Sussex have the longest life expectancy of any town in Great Britain, living 6.2 years higher than the national GB average. Central Livingston in East Central Scotland has the lowest life expectancy in Great Britain at 67.2 years.
11 Keep the faith – add 3 years. Numerous studies have unearthed links between having a faith and enjoying a long life. According to The University of Pittsburgh, people who attend weekly religious services can expect to live around 3 years longer than non-attenders.
12 Be born later – add up to 6.1 years. According to the UK Government Actuary’s Department (GAD), people born 25 years ago had an average life expectancy of 84.6 years for men and 88.5 years for women. People born in 2009 now have an average life expectancy of 88.5 (males) and 91.8 (females). Predictions from GAD suggest that people born 25 years from now could live as long as 91.7 (men) and 94.6 (women).
13 Get a good night’s sleep – add 5 years. Poor sleep can contribute to a number of medical factors that put people at risk of heart disease. Those who regularly get at least 6 or 7 hours’ sleep can hope to live up to 5 years longer than those who sleep badly.
14 Floss your teeth – add 6 years. Flossing your teeth daily can add as much as 6 years to your life expectancy by removing harmful bacteria that contribute to cardiovascular disease.
15 Get a pet – add 2 years. US research shows that people with pets are less likely to suffer from depression and receive less medical care than those without. Also, stroking a pet can reduce blood pressure and stress levels.