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Recipe for a long, healthy life boils down to nine traits

13 February 2017


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The most cost-effective way to achieve the wellbeing of a population is to have governments adopt policies based on the nine common denominators that promote longevity.

The most cost-effective way to achieve the wellbeing of a population is to have governments adopt policies based on the nine common denominators that promote longevity.

This sentiment was expressed by National Geographic Fellow, Dan Buettner, who spoke during Day One of the World Government Summit 2017 in Dubai.

“The recipe for long and healthy living boils down to nine characteristics – natural movement; a positive outlook; meditation; purpose; wise eating; putting our loved ones first; belonging to a religion and building social connections,” he said. “I’ve conducted years of research across the world, in my quest to find the world’s ‘happiness zones’, and found that men live the longest in Sardinia, Italy, and women live the longest in Okinawa, Japan.”

Buettner specifically attributes the long lifespan of the female population in Okinawa to social connectivity and purpose, which he said “are hardwired into society”. Additionally, Nicoya, Costa Rica, boasts the lowest global rate of middle-age mortality and Ikaria, Greece, has the lowest global rate of heart disease and dementia.

 

“Where we witness societies producing people who are skiing and practising karate at the age of 92, the key insight is that longevity happened to them,” he said. “Longevity was not something they pursued, because health is not something you go after, it is innate within environments in which longevity is residual.”