Enjoying life could be the secret to living longer
COULD it be that if you enjoy life, you will live longer?
That's what scientists from University College London claim following a study which found that the higher a person's enjoyment of life, the longer they were likely to live.
The researchers assessed 9365 people aged 50 and over, three times at two-year intervals between 2002 and 2013.
The participants were asked to rate the following statements on a four-point scale to measure life enjoyment:
1/ "I enjoy the things that I do";
2/ "I enjoy being in the company of others";
3/ "On balance, I look back on my life with a sense of happiness"; and,
4/ "I feel full of energy these days."
In total, 24% of participants reported no high levels of enjoyment of life on any occasion, 20% had one experience of high level enjoyment, 22% had two, and 34% reported three moments of high enjoyment.
Women ranked the highest on the enjoyment scale, while those participants who were married or cohabitating, well educated, wealthier, younger, and currently employed also ranked highly.
During the follow-up period, the study reported that there were 1310 deaths, and the death rate was found to be progressively higher among individuals who reported fewer occasions of high enjoyment.
Compared with the group that reported no enjoyment, the risk of death from all causes was 17% lower among participants who reported two instances of high enjoyment, and 24% lower in those reporting three instances of high enjoyment of life.
The report's authors said: "Baseline health profiles were more favourable in those who reported more sustained enjoyment of life, with better self-rated health; less limiting longstanding illness; fewer diagnoses of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke or chronic lung disease; and less impaired mobility and impaired activities of daily living."