Small doses of "stressors" such as poisons, radiation and heat may in fact reverse the ageing process, according to latest research published in the New Scientist.
Scientists claim that the idea is that certain stressors may kick-start the body into self-repair and perhaps recuperate unrelated damage in the meantime.
It is thought that if the effect is proven completely then it could extend the average healthy human lifespan to over 90.
The study also found that those who wish to live longer should cultivate close relationships with friends, family and spouses.
Scientists are also suggesting that where you live could have an effect on your life expectancy, with the environment accounting for up to 70 per cent of a longer life.
Tests reveal that exercising the brain is one of the best ways to keep both body and mind young and studies show that carrying out simple brain activities such as crosswords can fend off dementia in old age.
Overall, one of the best ways to extend life expectancy is to be happier as a happier life is a longer one and having a happy disposition can increase the chances of recovering from disease.