Jack Lalanne, the 93-year old fitness legend, says being happy is good for you. Dr. Fuhrman insists a healthy diet increases longevity. And now new research by the University of Southern Denmark claims being busy and independent will help you live longer. Alan Mozes of HealthDay News reports:
The new study was led by Dr. Kaare Christensen of The Danish Aging Research Center at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. The team reported its findings in the Aug. 18-22 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
To gauge recent quality of life trends among the so-called "super-elderly", Christensen's team launched mental and physical health surveys in 1998 that focused on an initial group of almost 2,300 Danish men and women, all of whom had been born in 1905.
The researchers did not exclude anyone on the basis of prior health issues or cognitive status at the start of the study. In all, four surveys were conducted -- one approximately every two years-- and all tracked the same group of individuals as they aged from 92 to 100.
By the time of the last survey in 2005, just 166 of the participants were still alive. However, the study authors observed that among those super-elderly still alive at the time of each survey, the percentage that was still able to maintain a functionally independent lifestyle remained nearly constant.
Across surveys, those deemed to be mentally and physically "independent" -- able to perform basic tasks on their own, while remaining free of serious and disabling cognitive, sensory, or physical impairment -- declined only "very modestly" from 39 percent at age 92 to 33 percent by age 100, the researchers reported.
I know I always feel more lively and vibrant when I have a MILLION things to do! This research goes right in line with the recent poll of 100 U.S. centenarians; 81% of them recommend maintaining a sense of independence. Also, check out author John Robbins’ video on living healthy at 100.