Unseen factors affecting life expectancy Featured Image

With so much emphasis on diet as the prime driver of life expectancy and all that it entails…

From endless debates on veganism to the carnivore diet, many often forget the other very important areas that significantly contribute to a long healthy life.

These are just just a few of them.

Genetics:

Winston Churchill infamously drank like a fish, ate what he wanted, was overweight, did little exercise and died at 90! Far exceeding the national average.

We all know people that have had similar lives and exceeded the national lifespan expectancy.

How?

Well, genetics can play a bigger part than many realise.

Determining exactly how genetics affect lifespan still needs work although current research suggest genetics account for approximately 20 to 30 percent of a humans chance to live past 80 years old.

Through the latest methods of genetic testing we can now potentially identify and combat our susceptibility to illness.

Anxiety:

This one might surprise people.

Even low levels of anxiety can potentially shorten a persons lifespan by increasing their risk of death by 20% over a 10 year period.

How?

Well there will be many factors associated with increasing mortality, from chronic higher than average levels of the stress hormone cortisol, being psychologically more prone to neuroticism, to over stimulating the adrenal system… It’s something to address and in most cases, possible to address.

Social connection:

We are social animals, no matter how introverted you think you are.

Research shows that there’s a 50% increased likelihood of survival for participants with stronger social relationships than those without.

How?

The psychological support, the happiness and joy people can bring and sense of community that comes with the feeling of being part of a ‘tribe’ all go a long way.

Bottom line:

There are of course many other areas that will affect our lifespans. So it’s important to look holistically at your life and analyse which areas are currently out of balance or at least need work.

This is what we also work on at RHHP.

Live well,

Rupert Hambly