Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Long Happy Life

Optimism, a balanced diet and a daily routine are the keys to a long and healthy life, according to scientific studies analyzed by a German women’s magazine.

Genetic factors account for longevity in only 25% of the world’s population. For the rest, it is way they live their lives, the magazine Fuer Sie (For Her) reported, quoting a Swedish study.

Regular working hours and bedtimes as well as daily routine are factors which help prolong life, the study showed

This was borne out on research conducted among monks and nuns by Professor Marc Luy from the University of Rostock in northern Germany.

If showed that people living a monastic life had a higher-than-average life expectancy, which Luy attributed to a lack of stress, working against the clock and the pressures of everyday life.

Stress, the magazine said, was one of the main causes of circulatory diseases.

A study of 1,000 senior citizens in the Netherlands showed that people who are optimistic get more out of life and also live longer.

One possible reasons is that those with a positive outlook are better able to deal with problems. People with a negative outlook are more susceptible to illness, the study showed.

A good diet was cited as the reason of high life expectancy on the Japanese island of Okinawa, where the world’s highest number of people over 90 live.

This was put down to a reduced intake of one-third less than the recommended 2,300 calories and meals that consists mainly of fish, vegetables and soy products. -dpa

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