Azara Blog: Live healthily to live longer

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Date published: 2006/04/25

The BBC says:

Making small changes to your lifestyle can have a significant impact on how long you will live, research has shown.

The Cambridge University study looked at over 25,000 people.

It found that stopping smoking, exercising more and eating better could give you the life expectancy of a person 11 to 12 years younger.

The government is backing the research, and launching an initiative to encourage people to make small changes to improve their health.

The study, carried out in Norfolk, is part of the European Prospective Investigation and Nutrition (Epic) study, involving over half a million people in 10 European countries.

The UK arm of the study is following 25,663 men and women aged between 45 and 79 years old since 1993, looking at their diet, environment, lifestyle and health.

The participants have regularly filled in questionnaires about their diet, lifestyle and health and had periodic check-ups from nurses.

These latest results from the study showed eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day can give you the life expectancy of someone three years younger.

Not smoking turned the clock back by four to five years.

Even increasing exercise by a moderate amount can take up to three years off.

But the amount of exercise someone would need to do to achieve that depends on their job.

An office worker would need to do one hour of exercise, such as swimming or jogging, every day, while a person with a moderately active job, such as a hairdresser, would need to take 30 minutes exercise a day.

People with active jobs, including nurses and bricklayers, do not need to do any extra exercise - as their work is strenuous enough.

Well, the study only shows a correlation, not a causation, but at least here it seems plausible that the claim is valid. But is any of this supposed to be surprising? And does anybody seriously think anybody is going to pay any attention to this? And do we really need to live even longer than we already do?

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