Does the adoption of specific lifestyle factors improve healthspan?

Dr Frank Lipman
Dec 20, 2022

What lifestyle factors can contribute to a longer and healthier life? Research suggests that a healthy lifestyle improves healthspan.

Study Summary

One study, which defined healthy lifestyle factors as: never smoking, body mass index (18.5-24.9), moderate to vigorous physical activity (≥30 minutes/day), moderate alcohol intake (women: 5-15 g/day; men 5-30 g/day), and a higher diet quality score (upper 40%), found that those engaging in more healthy lifestyle factors had a greater healthspan. Women who did not practice healthy lifestyle factors had an expected 23.7 years left to live free of diabetes, heart disease and cancer – at age 50. Those who adopted 4-5 of these lifestyle factors, had an expected 34.4 disease-free years left at age 50. There were similar findings for men, 23.5 years vs. 31.1 years for those at 50 with no healthy factors or 4-5 healthy factors, respectively.

Another study found that for 116,043 participants free of major chronic diseases, those with a higher healthier lifestyle score had a greater number of disease-free years. Lifestyle score was calculated using a point system for smoking, body mass index (BMI), physical activity and alcohol consumption.

The Hearty Take

Together, these studies suggest that steering clear of cigarettes, maintaining a healthy BMI, regularly exercising, reducing alcohol consumption and consuming a higher quality of diet, support enhanced healthspan. This is your reminder that a healthy lifestyle supports full-body health on cellular and systemic levels. Need help changing your unhealthy habits or implementing a healthier lifestyle? Reach out to your health coach!

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