Key to longevity may mean learning and staying in shape
A major research study has recently found that possibly the most important keys to increasing lifespan is to maintain or reduce your weight to a moderate level and to continue learning. In a recent study at the University of Edinburg it was found that people who are overweight may possibly reduce their life expectancy by two months for every extra kilogram of weight they carry. The study also found that education leads to a longer life, with almost a year added for each year spent studying beyond one’s formal education.
Other important findings were that if people give up smoking, in conjunction with studying longer and are more open to new unique experiences they can also expect to live longer.
The University of Edinburg evaluated the genetic information of approximately 600,000 people along with records of their parents. Researchers were able to evaluate the genetic information from each parent and calculate the impact of various aspects of their lifestyle. While it may be concluded that lifestyle choices may be influenced to some degree by genes which may be linked to increased alcohol consumption and addiction, researchers were able to calculate which lifestyle choices seem to have the greatest influence on lifespan.
They found that cigarette smoking probably had the largest impact upon either lengthening or shortening lifespan. It was concluded that smoking a pack of cigarettes per day over a lifetime may reduce life expectancy by approximately seven years. However, smokers who quit may eventually increase their lifespan to approximately the same level as those who have never smoked.
Factors related to body fat and diabetes were also concluded to have a high impact upon lifespan. Researchers found two important DNA differences that affect lifespan. The first is identified to be a gene that affects blood cholesterol levels in effect reducing lifespan by about eight months. The second was a gene linked to the immune system which seemed to add about a half years of life expectancy.
Data for this research was drawn from 25 separate populations from Europe, North America and Australia.
Dr. Peter Joshi, Chancellor’s fellow at the University of Edinburg’s Usher Institute concluded that “our study has estimated the causal effect of lifestyle choices. We found out, on average smoking a pack a day reduces lifespan by seven years, whilst losing 1 kg of weight will increase your lifespan by two months”
Article adapted from research study Learning and Staying in Shape Key to Longer Life Span, study at ScienceDaily.com (Dated October 13, 2017) by Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
Materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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