FACTORS OF LONGEVITY
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.” (Proverbs 3:1, 2)
Longevity is, in general, an indicator of good health. It is therefore logic to assume that those factors that prolong life will also help to improve overall health. The above text of Proverbs infers that a life in obedience to God’s commandments will result in a long and prosperous life. There are abundant counsels in the Word of God, which when practiced will protect us from countless evils and suffering in life. Many scientific studies have been done and others are still on their way to find out which lifestyle habits are linked to better health and longevity. Details on the large Adventist Mortality Study and the Adventist Health Studies I and II being done at the Loma Linda University in California can be found on the Internet at www.llu.edu/llu/health .
Most of the reconditioning programs being offered in Seventh-day Adventist lifestyle centers around the world are based on the NEWSTART® concept. A new acronym was created by the General Conference Health Department – CELEBRATIONS – that includes some additional important factors .
In this section, however, we will focus on a well-known study done thirty five years ago by two eminent researchers, Breslow and Belloc, in the USA. 6’900 people living in the Alameda County, in California, completed comprehensive questionnaires about their lifestyle. These people were then followed for 9 years to see who lived and who died. As a result, they found seven basic health habits that were related to longevity:
- Adequate sleep, 7-8 hours per day
- Eating breakfast daily
- Regular meals, not snacking frequently
- Moderate or no use of alcohol
- Not smoking
- Weight in a healthy range
- Regular physical activity
Note: The “Healthage” computer software commonly used at the Health EXPOs (see www.healthexpobanners.com) is based on this study of Breslow and Belloc.
Let’s now examine each one of these habits.