13 Ways to Increase Your Lifespan; Career Women Now Have the Highest Life Expectancy of Any Group. but Everyone Can Live Longer Than Statistics Predict, Says Peta Bee. Simply Adopt the Lifestyle Habits of Nobel Prize Winners and Oscar Nominees

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), November 22, 2009 | Go to article overview

13 Ways to Increase Your Lifespan; Career Women Now Have the Highest Life Expectancy of Any Group. but Everyone Can Live Longer Than Statistics Predict, Says Peta Bee. Simply Adopt the Lifestyle Habits of Nobel Prize Winners and Oscar Nominees


Byline: Peta Bee

Despite their stressful and busy lifestyles, high-flying career women can now expect to outlive everyone else, according to recent research in the US. Female lawyers and doctors are among those likely to live to the ripe old age of 85, while their male counterparts can expect to reach 80 years of age. There is good news for the rest of us, too, according to Dr Eric Brunner, an epidemiologist at University College London, who conducted another study into ageing trends among different social groups. He discovered that unskilled women who are now 65 will probably live 17.7 years longer than their predecessors of the same age while unskilled men can expect to live 14.1 years longer than they did 30 years ago. But if you want to live even longer than the statistics predict, the good news is we know how to do it.

Win an award

Researchers have found that winners live longer. Oscar winners, for instance, live 4-6 years longer than average, says Professor Donald Redelmeier of the University of Toronto. In a study funded by the Canadian Institute of Health and published in the Annals of Internal Medcine this year, Redelmeier included all of the 762 actors and actresses ever nominated for an Academy Award in a leading or support role. On average, Oscar winners lived to 79.7 whereas other actors died aged 75.8. Likewise, Nobel Prize winners live 1.4 years longer than non-winners, found Andrew Oswald at the University of Warwick. 'Status seems to work a kind of health-giving magic,' Oswald says. 'I was quite surprised to find a clear effect on longevity within this elite sample of scientists.' Years added: 6

Become vegetarian

Being a vegetarian for 20 years or more adds four years to a person's life, found Dr Pramil Singh of Loma Linda University in California. Analysing data obtained about the diets of Seventh Day Adventists, who are strict vegetarians, and other long-term studies, Dr Singh said that 'long-term vegetarians have a 3.6-year survival advantage' and lived to around 86.5 years of age. German scientists found that even cutting down on meat could extend your lifespan. A team from the German Cancer Research Centre monitored almost 2,000 people aged between 10 and 70 who ate either no meat, or less than average between 1978 and 1999. They found that people who eat meat infrequently have 'significantly longer lives'.

Years added: 4

Have faith

People who go to church regularly -- no matter what their religion -- have a longer life expectancy than others, claims a study at the University of Pittsburgh. In fact, their added years of life were close to those gained from being more physically active or taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Dr Daniel Hall, who led the study, suggested that increased longevity in church-goers could be linked to a number of factors including an enhanced sense 'of community support'. The study showed that regular exercise had the biggest benefits accounting for an extra 3-5 years while stain drugs were responsible for 2.1-3.7 additional years. Regular attendance at religious services increased life expectancy by 1.8 to 3.1 years.

Years added: 3.1

Do a daily workout

People who exercise really do live longer, scientists have found. In fact, a daily workout can add as much as four years to your life. American researchers looking at the habits of more than 5,000 middle-aged and elderly Americans found that those who had moderate to high levels of activity lived 1.3 to 3.7 years longer than those who did little activity, largely because they put off developing heart disease. According to the researchers at the Erasmus University medical centre, doing the equivalent of 30 minutes' walking a day for five days a week added 1.5 years to subjects' lives. More intense exercise -- running for half an hour five days a week -- prolonged life by up to 3.7 years, they found. Years added: 4

Be optimistic

Looking on the bright side can extend your life.

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13 Ways to Increase Your Lifespan; Career Women Now Have the Highest Life Expectancy of Any Group. but Everyone Can Live Longer Than Statistics Predict, Says Peta Bee. Simply Adopt the Lifestyle Habits of Nobel Prize Winners and Oscar Nominees
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