What are the Secrets to Long Life? A 90-Year Study reveals to us the Answer

By Kathleen Kaye on March 08, 2012

Really, it takes a 90 year scientific study for many of us to believe that we don’t need a lucky charm to live our life to the max. The research entitled ‘The Longevity Project’ projects a clearer view of what it means to be happy.

The Longevity Project

Dr Howard S. Friedman and his team of researchers observed 1,500 people from childhood to adulthood. They followed how well they lived and who lives long, healthy and happy. Three of the participants were Dr Engleman, a physician who has reached the age of 100 years, Jack Lalanne, a nutrition guru who lived up to 94, and Phyllis Diller, a female comedian who reached 87. What could have made these people lived that long? It appears that there are three major aspects that affect’s one’s happiness. These are health, social relationship and marriage. Scientists looked back on what they did 20, 40, and 60 years ago that made them reach this far.

Having a Happy Marriage Life

Dr Engleman has been happily married for over 70 years. Staying this long isn’t easy. Being married requires responsibility but alongside with it is happiness. The researchers found that men live longer when they are in a healthy marriage. Many studies have confirmed this too. Women also benefited from marriage but to a lesser degree. The reason for that is women usually have close ties with other people – friends, families and children.

Jack Lalanne, an American nutritional expert who was once called ‘the godfather of fitness’. He died at the age of 94. In 1959, he got divorced and married another woman whom he spent the rest of his life with. On the other hand, Phyllis Diller, a popular comedian was able to survive the deaths of her three husbands.

Being Socially Active

Dr Engleman has spent most of his life being a socially active individual. He first joined a club in year 1937 and even at the age of 100, he’s still very active. Comparing this with the other participants in the study, the researchers found out that people who have active social life are more likely to be happy than those who don’t have. This is very true especially if they focus on sports, arts or community service. However, not all social activities will give you happiness. Carefully choosing the organisations you will spend time with is therefore necessary. Another factor that makes people live longer is having a successful career. Working hard for worthwhile causes and staying close with other people makes one inspire individuals to live a meaningful life.

No one really knows the secret towards happiness and life’s longevity. Not even those who had reached the age of 100 years. But studies such as this gives as a clearer view of the steps we can take to be happy. They give us insights and hope that we can all live healthy, longer and happier.

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