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Longevity formula unveiled

27th April 2006

Scientists from Cambridge University have unveiled a formula for boosting longevity.

The study, conducted on behalf of the department of health, has quantified for the first time how changes in lifestyle and diet can add years to our lives.

Under the formula, which evolved following monitoring of 25,000 people aged between 45 and 79, giving up smoking adds five years on to your life.

Eating five portions of fruit and veg a day can boost life expectancy by a further three years with moderate exercise also contributing an extra three years.

Even those who don't do any exercise can almost counter-balance these negative effects by eating an apple or a pear every day, which adds an extra two years.

Lead researcher Kay-Tee Khaw told the Observer: "Every little bit of additional activity has a measurable impact on health.

"If totally inactive people move towards becoming moderately inactive, that is associated with a 15 to 20 per cent lower mortality."

Government statistics currently indicate that life expectancy is around 77 for men and 81 for women.