Healthy lifestyle and eating habits may seem like a chore, but they can have a lasting impact on your health and lifespan. A British study reveals that people who have just four regular, healthy habits prolong their longevity by an average of 14 years.
The study was conducted by the University of Cambridge and Norfolk County’s Medical Research Council. At the start of the study, participants had no known health conditions and were between the ages of 45 and 79 years old.Healthy lifestyle and eating habits may seem like a chore, but they can have a lasting impact on your health and lifespan
Every person involved in the study was given up to four “points” for the following four lifestyle habits:
- not smoking
- drinking less than 14 units of alcohol per week (i.e. no more than the equivalent of 7 glasses of wine each week)
- an active job or a half hour of physical activity each day
- blood vitamin C levels that correspond to 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables
Small, Consistent Changes led to Longevity
At the end of the eleven year study period, nearly 2,000 of the participants had died. Participants with all four healthy behaviors were far less likely to die than those who smoked, drank excessively, and didn’t exercise or eat a healthy diet. Those in the study with “four points” or all four healthy habits died only one quarter as often as those with none. And having some of the habits was better than none in terms of longevity and life expectancy.
The study found these four behaviors “equivalent to being 14 years younger,” writes Kay-Tee Khaw, Ph.D. of the University of Cambridge, who led the study. “We’ve known that individually, measures such as not smoking and exercising can have an impact upon longevity, but this is the first time we have looked at them altogether It means a large proportion of the population really could feel health benefits through moderate changes.”