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Eye-Opening New Harvard Study Reveals 5 Truths About People Who Live the Longest (1 Viewer)

Otis

Footballguy
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These kinds of things I find interesting that Inc finds interesting.

The list contains no surprises -- but does lead to a surprising conclusion. Based on the data, say you...

Exercise at least thirty minutes a day

Maintain a "low" BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9

Drink no more than two glasses of wine (men) or one glass (women) per day

Don't smoke

Eat a healthy diet 

Do those things and compared to people who don't meet any of those criteria, if you're a woman your life expectancy improves from 79 to 93.1 years old. If you're a man, your life expectancy increases from 75.5 to 87.6 years old.




 




 
The author (Jeff Haden, not Otis) is surprised a guy who checks ALL the negative boxes and:

Doesn't exercise, Doesn't have a low BMI, Drinks more than 2 glasses of wine a day, Smokes and Doesn't eat a healthy diet will live 12 years less than a guy who does all of the below?

Exercise at least thirty minutes a day

Maintain a "low" BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9

Drink no more than two glasses of wine (men) or one glass (women) per day

Don't smoke

Eat a healthy diet 

I would think that sounds about right. Or am I missing something?

 
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I'm not sure why anyone would want to live past 85, and even that might be pushing it. 

Obviously every situation is different but you can do absolutely everything right, have a perfectly healthy (relatively speaking) body and get stuck with Alzheimer's for 10 years. 

I'm pacing myself to burn out at like 82

 
These kinds of things I find interesting that Inc finds interesting.

The author (Jeff Haden, not Otis) is surprised a guy who checks ALL the negative boxes and:

Doesn't exercise, Doesn't have a low BMI, Drinks more than 2 glasses of wine a day, Smokes and Doesn't eat a healthy diet will live 12 years less than a guy who does all of the below?

Exercise at least thirty minutes a day

Maintain a "low" BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9

Drink no more than two glasses of wine (men) or one glass (women) per day

Don't smoke

Eat a healthy diet 

I would think that sounds about right. Or am I missing something?
I agree. I suppose I figured the interesting part was that it can amount to living 12-14 years longer. That’s a pretty long time. 

 
I agree. I suppose I figured the interesting part was that it can amount to living 12-14 years longer. That’s a pretty long time. 
That is a significant time. 

I wonder too though how much smoking is the lead in that bunch. In other words, I wonder if just smoking doesn't cut down your life expectancy by that much. 

I listened to a good podcast on this topic recently and it talked about something not on the article list: Social connections. I think there's a ton of truth to that too. https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_pinker_the_secret_to_living_longer_may_be_your_social_life?language=en

 
I'm not sure why anyone would want to live past 85, and even that might be pushing it. 

Obviously every situation is different but you can do absolutely everything right, have a perfectly healthy (relatively speaking) body and get stuck with Alzheimer's for 10 years. 

I'm pacing myself to burn out at like 82
For sure quality of life factors in. 

 
For sure quality of life factors in. 
Right. But the article makes the obvious but still worth mentioning point that in addition to living an extra dozen years or so, all of the years you have will likely be in better health and higher quality.  When you start to really think about it, it makes absolutely no sense to NOT follow these five rules. 

I’m just past 40, so figure I’m more than halfway home even if things go well for me. But still lots of time left to course correct. 

 
I'm not sure why anyone would want to live past 85, and even that might be pushing it. 

Obviously every situation is different but you can do absolutely everything right, have a perfectly healthy (relatively speaking) body and get stuck with Alzheimer's for 10 years. 

I'm pacing myself to burn out at like 82
I don’t disagree with the first part but the problem as I see it is that to have a good life to 82 you have to take care of yourself.  It appears that I have some good genes as far as long life goes but I am fearful about spending 5-10 years just dying in a nursing home.  I’d rather try to be one of the few that lives that long AND has quality of life.

My maternal Grandmother is 97 and has lived in a retirement community for 30+ years.  It’s not a nursing home but is like an apartment for old people - I can’t imagine doing that.  

 
Eye-opening?

The one I’m surprised to not see in there is sleep.
They've done studies with sleep which have found the people that live the longest actually only sleep about 5-6 hours a night. It's kind of inconclusive though, because they only measured lifespan vs hours slept. It didn't take into consideration actual quality of sleep.

 
That is a significant time. 

I wonder too though how much smoking is the lead in that bunch. In other words, I wonder if just smoking doesn't cut down your life expectancy by that much. 


Here's the study (pdf) with more info on the individual risk factors. 

Looks to me like smoking is the biggest one (but doesn't account for all the difference if that's what you were asking).

With physical activity, you can see why you often hear to at least do some activity (if not the 30 min a day), because the biggest jump is from no activity at all to any activity (even like half an hour a week).

BMI doesn't seem like a big deal unless you're over 30 for men or 35 for women. That makes some sense to me, since BMI doesn't account for differences in weight from excess fat and muscle. (I know under 25 is pretty much out of the question for me personally).

 
As Mark Twain once said - "The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not."

 
I don’t disagree with the first part but the problem as I see it is that to have a good life to 82 you have to take care of yourself.  It appears that I have some good genes as far as long life goes but I am fearful about spending 5-10 years just dying in a nursing home.  I’d rather try to be one of the few that lives that long AND has quality of life.

My maternal Grandmother is 97 and has lived in a retirement community for 30+ years.  It’s not a nursing home but is like an apartment for old people - I can’t imagine doing that.  
By choice?   My mother in law lives in one of those by choice.  It looks like it suits most people there.   They don't have a house to take care of and they're surrounded by people their own age that have similar interests and lifestyles.  

 
For sure quality of life factors in. 
Yeah, if you have a good quality of life for that age, why not?   Its hard for me to judge whether I'd like a certain lifestyle 40 years from now.  Looking at what I do now and how I'm perfectly content doing it, the 20 year old me would've said that I was crazy.

 
For a long time now I've had a gut feeling that sugar would end up proving to be highly detrimental to health. It seems in the last several years there have been more and more articles along those lines. I've mostly cut out deserts and obvious sugary items from my diet for a few years now. I need to start in on reducing starchy and carb items.

I'll bet before too long sugar becomes such a call-out item that it becomes a bullet point in the original list that Otis posted, and not just lumped under "eat a healthy diet" .

 
For a long time now I've had a gut feeling that sugar would end up proving to be highly detrimental to health. It seems in the last several years there have been more and more articles along those lines. I've mostly cut out deserts and obvious sugary items from my diet for a few years now. I need to start in on reducing starchy and carb items.

I'll bet before too long sugar becomes such a call-out item that it becomes a bullet point in the original list that Otis posted, and not just lumped under "eat a healthy diet" .
Correct.

30 years from now people will be absolutely horrified at what people have their kids to eat/drink in the 1970s-early 2000s. Same way we are starting to look at smoking. 

 
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They've done studies with sleep which have found the people that live the longest actually only sleep about 5-6 hours a night. It's kind of inconclusive though, because they only measured lifespan vs hours slept. It didn't take into consideration actual quality of sleep.
Isn't that kind of still in dispute though? i thought there was a good bit of conflicting data there and the pendulum seems to be swinging back toward most everyone needing more sleep.

 
By choice?   My mother in law lives in one of those by choice.  It looks like it suits most people there.   They don't have a house to take care of and they're surrounded by people their own age that have similar interests and lifestyles.  
Yes, by choice - although now at 97 she has to have folks check on her and help her out.  It’s more the idea of being there 20-30 years that is not appealing to me.

 
Yes, by choice - although now at 97 she has to have folks check on her and help her out.  It’s more the idea of being there 20-30 years that is not appealing to me.
Me neither at least at this point.   If you like being around people, I do see the appeal.   You could just as easily go the route of in home care.   Pretty awesome she's only at that point at 97.   

 
I'm not sure why anyone would want to live past 85, and even that might be pushing it. 

Obviously every situation is different but you can do absolutely everything right, have a perfectly healthy (relatively speaking) body and get stuck with Alzheimer's for 10 years. 

I'm pacing myself to burn out at like 82


But not doing any of the things mentioned above might mean you burn out at 82 after diabetes and lung cancer for your last several years.  (I know, those things could happen regardless -- but you want to put statistics in your favor.).  

Unless you plan on going Chris Farley style and flaming out in a blaze around 40, I'd guess that the chain-smoking alcoholic with a horrible diet is going to have as bad (if not much worse) of a QoL for his last 10 years from ages 55 to 65, compared to the healthy guy's last 10, say from 78 to 88.  

 
Minimize stress, get sufficient rest, eat well, and exercise. It isnt any one, it's all, and they all feed off each other. 
Combine that with not too much smoke, drink, sugar, and salt and all you need then is to not get hit by a bus.

 
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"I don't smoke, drink or chew

I don't go out with girls who do

You may think I don't have fun

Well, you're right."

 
I'm not sure why anyone would want to live past 85, and even that might be pushing it. 

Obviously every situation is different but you can do absolutely everything right, have a perfectly healthy (relatively speaking) body and get stuck with Alzheimer's for 10 years. 

I'm pacing myself to burn out at like 82
I thought this, and then I met some people who actually take care of themselves and got lucky in the dementia lottery. 

71 year old I know plays basketball 5 times a week and set the single game 3 point record for his gym last year. 

At 85 he should still be in pretty good shape. 

 
NutterButter said:
Agreed.  For some people the job and the materialism it allows is too much of a drug.    
Sometimes the materialism is nonexistent but the desire to race is still insatiable. 

 

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