NEWS: 5 Habits Can Add 14 Healthy Years to Your Life, According to Science
Science confirms what we know from our research and study of centenarians in blue zones regions. The longest-lived people in the world share nine commonalities: they move naturally in their daily lives; eat a plant-slant diet, go to happy hour and drink Wine at 5; they wake up in the morning with purpose; find ways to down shift and shed stress; eat to 80 percent full; belong to faith-based communities; always put family first; and have close friends with similar values – we call these the Power 9.
According to new research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, five very similar lifestyle habits have been shown to increase life expectancy at age 50 by 12 to 14 years. The study is the first comprehensive analysis of the impact of adopting low-risk lifestyle factors on life expectancy in the U.S.
Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health looked at the following to determine how they affect longevity:
- Not smoking
- Eating a healthy diet
- Regularly exercising
- Keeping a healthy body weight
- Moderate alcohol consumption
Along with lifestyle and medical data from adults in the Nurses’ Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), as well as mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers determined that in the more than 30 years of follow-up, following all five lifestyle habits improved projected life expectancy at age 50 by 14.0 years for women and 12.2 years for men.
“This study underscores the importance of following healthy lifestyle habits for improving longevity in the U.S. population,” said Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study. “However, adherence to healthy lifestyle habits is very low. Therefore, public policies should put more emphasis on creating healthy food, built, and social environments to support and promote healthy diet and lifestyles.”
In Blue Zones Project communities, our team of experts works with local municipalities to make the healthy choice the easy and unavoidable choice by transforming the built environment and creating food policies that ensure that health isn’t necessarily pursued by citizens, but rather it ensues from the right environment