Harvard researchers say five things will help you live longer, and the list isn't all that surprising: exercise, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy body weight, don't drink too much, and don't smoke.
According to government statistics, 50-year-old Americans have a life expectancy of another 30 to 33 years, CBS News reports.
For women this meant on average an extra 14 years of life, and for men an extra 12 years, with the combination of all five healthy behaviors linked with the most additional years of life gained.
The study analyzes five factors that could affect a person's life expectancy.
"This study underscores the importance of following healthy lifestyle habits for improving longevity in the U.S. population", commented senior author Frank Hu.
Hoping to extend your life expectancy? In contrast, for those who adopted all 5 low-risk factors, we projected a life expectancy at age 50 years of 43.1 years (95% CI, 41.3-44.9) for women and 37.6 years (95% CI, 35.8-39.4) for men.
Harvard researchers discovered that adherence to five lifestyle practices is associated with more than 10 years of increased longevity, as well as reduced risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The research highlights that these simple changes in our daily routine require a minimal effort and are easy to adhere to.
They chose to focus on "smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, poor diet, and obesity", because an analysis of 15 studies covering more than half a million people in 17 nations had concluded that these "unhealthy lifestyle factors" could account for around 60 percent of premature deaths.
The body mass index is a measure of body fat and is defined as one's weight in kilograms divided by the square of one's height in metres.
In an effort to quantify the effects of disease prevention, researchers assessed data from two major ongoing cohort studies, including dietary, lifestyle, and medical information from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
The researchers documented 42,167 deaths during up to 34 years of follow-up. The results of the study show that following these lifestyle habits is associated with a reduced risk of dying from the two largest killers in the US, which are cardiovascular disease and cancer.