Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have five life-extending habits for you. They're nothing you haven't heard of before, but the Harvard team found that people added at least 10 years to their lives when they followed these healthy habits:
Using information from two long-term studies of over 120,000 men and women, researchers were able to take a close look at how these lifestyle habits affected a person’s life expectancy. Over the roughly 30 years that the study lasted, those people who made all five habits part of their daily lives decreased their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 82 percent and from cancer by 65 percent.
Adopting all five habits added the most years to life.
It is difficult to get adults in the U.S. to follow a healthy lifestyle, Frank Hu, senior author of the study, points out. In 2015, the U.S. ranked behind 30 other countries for life expectancy. To improve longevity in the U.S. population, he says, not only do more adults in the U.S. have to pursue these healthy habits, we will need to create public policies that emphasize healthy food and more health-friendly environments, such as walkable neighborhoods, to promote healthy lifestyle habits.
So here's a game plan to add years to your life and life to your years:
What do you need to work on?
The study is published in Circulation.