Ian Sample reports at the Guardian:
People who stick to five healthy habits in adulthood can add more than a decade to their lives, according to a major study into the impact behaviour has on lifespan.
Researchers at Harvard University used lifestyle questionnaires and medical records from 123,000 volunteers to understand how much longer people lived if they followed a healthy diet, controlled their weight, took regular exercise, drank in moderation and did not smoke.
When the scientists calculated average life expectancy, they noticed a dramatic effect from the healthy habits. Compared with people who adopted none of them, men and women who adhered to all five saw their life expectancy at 50 rise from 26 to 38 years and 29 to 43 years respectively, or an extra 12 years for men and 14 for women.
"When we embarked on this study, I thought, of course, that people who adopted these habits would live longer. But the surprising thing was how huge the effect was," says study co-author Meir Stampfer of Harvard, according to the Guardian.