5 healthy habits proven to increase life expectancy

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The study, the first comprehensive analysis of the impact of adopting low-risk lifestyle factors on life expectancy in the United States, is published online in the journal, Circulation.

According to government statistics, 50-year-old Americans have a life expectancy of another 30 to 33 years, CBS News reports.

Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the average American has a shorter life expectancy compared to other wealthy countries, such as Japan, Canada, and Norway.

"These are some of the leading causes of premature death, so by preventing or reducing the incidence of those diseases, it promotes longevity, and it also improves survival after diagnosis of those diseases", Dr. Meir Stampfer, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and co-author of the study told CNN. However, the study revealed that adhering to these simple lifestyle changes can add another 14 years to women's life and increase the male life expectancy by 12 years.

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He said it's important for people and policymakers to know the possible implications of lifestyle changes on life expectancy. Combined with data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data and mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the researchers used this data to estimate the impact of lifestyle factors on the life expectancy of USA citizens. Exercise was set at 30 minutes or more moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. - Eat a healthy diet.

The researchers combined data from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study - ongoing studies of dietary, lifestyle, and medical data in thousands of USA adults - with data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and mortality info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study participants filled out detailed questionnaires about their health and lifestyle habits every two to four years, Time reports.

A study conducted by researchers from Harvard University has revealed that people who stick to five healthy habits in adulthood may be able to extend their lifespan by over a decade.

The team also found a direct relationship between number of low-risk factors followed and reduced risk of early death, with the highest protection coming from sticking to all five.