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If you are looking forward to maximizing your lifespan with a decade, you should follow the below five simple lifestyle tips.

According to American researchers, who have conducted a comprehensive analysis of how our lives are affected by the choices we make.

The five tips are; Eat healthy, Exercise regularly, Maintain your body weight, Limit your alcohol and Do not smoke. If you follow these tips you can add more than ten years to your expected lifespan.

Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health in the United States have analyzed 34 years of data from 78,865 women and 27 years of data from 44,354 men. These men and women had participated in two independent studies, the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

The researchers analyzed how five different lifestyle factors affected mortality. Low-risk individuals were defined as non-smokers with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 who exercised at least 30 minutes a day, drank a moderate amount of alcohol (equivalent to most of a glass of wine a day for women or two for men) and who ate a healthy diet.

For those who did not adhere to any of this advice, the average remaining life at age 50 was 29 years for women and 25.5 years for men. Those who met all “low-risk criteria”, on the other hand, had 43.1 and 37.6 years left to live at the age of 50.

Men and women who had such healthy lives were 82% less likely to die of heart disease and 65% less likely to die of cancer compared with those with the least healthy lifestyles, over the roughly 30 years of the study.

In other words, these ‘low-risk’ men and women lived an additional 14 years and 12 years, respectively, compared to the ‘high-risk’ individuals.

The research that has been presented in the American Heart Association Circulation Journal Report, also shows that there is a “dose-response ratio” between each lifestyle factor and the risk of dying prematurely. In order to extend its expected life, you do not have to meet all the criteria, but you get the best effect if you meet all five.

“When we embarked on this study, I thought, of course, that people who adopted these habits would live longer. But the surprising thing was how huge the effect was,”

– Meir Stampfer, a co-author on the study and professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

The study has been published in the journal Circulation, suggests that poor lifestyle is a major factor that cuts American lives short. Only 8% of the general population followed all five healthy habits. The research focused on the US population, but the reseraqchers believe the findings applied to the UK and much of the western world.


Yanping Li, An Pan et al. Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population