Researchers have discovered eight habits that can help you live 20 or more years longer.
A study identified eight factors that have the greatest impact on longevity — being physically active, not smoking, managing stress, eating well, not drinking regularly, not being addicted to opioids, getting a good night’s sleep, and having positive social relationships.
Men who developed all these habits by age 40 lived 24 years longer than men who did not, and women who had them lived 21 years longer.
The researchers drew their conclusions based on data from more than 700,000 Americans participating in the Veterans Affairs Department’s Million Veterans Program.
The study found that low physical activity, opioid use, and smoking had the greatest impact on longevity and were associated with a 30-45% increased risk of death.
Stress, alcohol abuse, poor diet and poor sleep were all associated with an increased risk of death by about 20 percent.
Find out more about Sky News:
“By 2040, one in five adults in the UK will suffer from a major disease”
‘Earth-friendly’ diet may reduce risk of death from chronic disease
Xuan-Mai Nguyen, a health sciences specialist at the Veterans Affairs Department, said: “We were really surprised to find that there was such a large benefit from adopting one, two, three or all eight lifestyle factors.
“Our findings show that adopting a healthy lifestyle is important for both public health and personal health.
“The earlier the better, but even if you only make small changes in your 40s, 50s or 60s, it can still be beneficial.”
The researchers say their findings have not yet been peer-reviewed, but underscore the role of lifestyle factors in contributing to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease that lead to premature disability and death.
The study was presented at Nutrition 2023, the annual meeting of the American Academy of Nutrition.