From: British Medical Journal via EurekAlert
Published September 9, 2012 09:01 AM

Keep Physically Active - Add Years to Your Life!

Healthy living into old age can add up to 6 years to your life.

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Keeping physically active shows the strongest association with survival.

Living a healthy lifestyle into old age can add five years to women's lives and six years to men's, finds a study from Sweden published on bmj.com.  

The authors say this is the first study that directly provides information about differences in longevity according to several modifiable factors.

It is well known that lifestyle factors, like being overweight, smoking and heavy drinking, predict death among elderly people. But is it uncertain whether these associations are applicable to people aged 75 years or more.

So a team of researchers based in Sweden measured the differences in survival among adults aged 75 and older based on modifiable factors such as lifestyle behaviours, leisure activities, and social networks.

The study involved just over 1,800 individuals who were followed for 18 years (1987-2005). Data on age, sex, occupation, education, lifestyle behaviours, social network and leisure activities were recorded.

During the follow-up period 92% of participants died. Half of the participants lived longer than 90 years.

Survivors were more likely to be women, be highly educated, have healthy lifestyle behaviours, have a better social network, and participate in more leisure activities than non-survivors.

Senior Men exercising via Shutterstock.

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