Harvard University researchers sought out to study how drinking habits, exercise routine, diet, smoking, and weight impacted a person’s lifespan. The study’s goal was to figure out why U.S. adults have a higher mortality rate than residents of other nations with similar income levels. The research was shocked to find that living a healthy lifestyle had a significant impact on increasing a person’s life expectancy.
The study took place over 34 years. To get their data, the team obtained medical records and submitted lifestyle questionnaires to more than 123,000 volunteers. The researchers noticed that participants who practiced five healthy habits had an increase in their life expectancy rates. The life expectancy rate for men rose by 12 years. Women had a 14-year increase in their life expectancy rate.
What to Avoid Doing When Living a Healthy Lifestyle
It seems that living the optimum lifestyle involves a diet that is high in fruits in vegetables. The diet should consist of very little sugar, saturated fats, and red meat. People should also limit the amount of alcohol consumed each day. Men should consume less than 30 grams of alcohol a day. Women should drink less than 15 grams of alcohol a day. Exercising for 30 minutes and not smoking is also another way the study participants were able to extend their lives. Another thing these people had in common, having a body mass index that fell between 18.5 and 24.9.
The study’s authors believe that adopting a healthy lifestyle can extend the life expectancy rate of adults in the U.S. Women and men who make these lifestyle choices are significantly less likely to die from a cardiovascular event and cancer.
People Must Take Responsibility for Their Health
The researchers of the study aren’t surprised by the results. They are surprised by how much adopting healthy lifestyle habits can affect a person’s health. People need to take responsibility for their unhealthy choices. However, greater society needs to make it easier for people to make healthier lifestyle choices. When people take the time to change their habits, the health benefits are remarkable. It’s never too late for anyone to make the decision to live a healthier lifestyle.
The study fails to address one critical aspect. The study does not explain why people live in a way that is harmful to their health. It’s widely known that drinking too much, not exercising, and eating unhealthy foods are responsible for causing a lot of health issues. One explanation blames poor mental health, believing that people engage in these behaviors when they are feeling low.