SOS: Day 67
May you live 67 years.
Or longer. The current worldwide average life expectancy is 67. If you’re past that age…bravo! If you’re approaching that age, I hope you live in Japan, where the life expectancy for a man is 79 and for a woman is 86.1.
Other long-lived countries, in descending order of years you can expect to live are Hong Kong, Iceland, Switzerland, Australia, Spain, Sweden, Israel, Macau, and France.
The U.S. makes a rather poor ranking at #38. If you’re American, as I am, and a woman, you can expect to live to 80.8. Men shave off five years.
In Swaziland, the age of death is a mere 39.5 years.
In Neolithic times humans only lived to age 20; in the early 20th century you’d live just 30-45 years.
Here’s a shocking statistic: those with serious mental illness die 25 years earlier…most from diseases such as diabetes and heart disease that are preventable. If you love someone who deals with, for instance, bipolar disorder or depression, make sure they’re not neglecting any symptoms.
Also, stress decreases life expectancy with its side effects that include obesity, autoimmune disease, and digestive problems.
My grandmother just died at the age of 107.5; the rate of those who live past a hundred is increasing dramatically. (The longest-lived person, by the by, lived to 122.)
You’ve probably heard of studies done in Okinawa, Japan, to try to figure out why so many people there are centenarians. The five factors that lead to longevity are:
- Diet: lots of grains, fish, and vegetables and very little meat, eggs, and dairy products.
- Stress: low-stress lifestyles, way mellower than that of those who live on the mainland.
- Community: the elderly are taken good care of and aren’t isolated.
- Active lifestyle: even when you’re older, you garden and take walks; Okinawans work until an older age.
- Spirituality: prayer and sense of purpose.
While moving to another country with higher life expectancy isn’t realistic, it is possible to change your diet, activity level, and community involvement. And isn’t this what you’ve pretty much known all along?
SOS Month 3
What to do so far:
In case you missed a day, the reminders below are clickable.
Get in shape for the best years ahead.
Eat chia…don’t pet it.
Exercise keeps you sharp.
Counteract urban or rural lifestyle risks.
Some life expectancy factors you can’t control…many you can.