Friday, January 18, 2008

Healthy Habits Add Years to Lifespan

A research study released last week in London found that to get an extra 14 years of life, don't smoke, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly and drink alcohol in moderation.

However, it is not expected that this "new knowledge" will have much of an effect. When conducting my dissertation research I came to realize that knowledge rarely motivates one into action. There is often a gap between what we know we should do and "doing it".

"Most people know that things like a good diet matter and that smoking is not good for you," said Kay-Tee Khaw of the University of Cambridge, a researcher who conducted the research. "We need to work on providing people with much more practical support to help them change."

"We can't say that any one person could gain 14 years by doing these things," said Dr. Tim Armstrong, a physical activity expert at the World Health Organization. "The 14 years is an average across the population of what's theoretically possible."

More on the healthy habits study....