People can live longer if they practice 1 or more healthy lifestyle behaviors – getting regular physical activity, not smoking, eating a healthy diet, and limiting alcohol – according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
During the study period, people who engaged in all 4 healthy behaviors were 63% less likely to die early, compared with people who did not practice any of the behaviors. Not smoking provided the most protection from dying from all of the causes examined.
People who engaged in all 4 healthy behaviors were 66% less likely to die early from cancer, 65% less likely to die early from cardiovascular disease, and 57% less likely to die early from other causes compared with people who did not engage in any of the healthy behaviors.
Although studies have shown only a small percentage of people have adopted all of these healthy lifestyle behaviors, significant progress has been made in decreasing the rate of people who smoke. This study adds to the mounting evidence of the substantial gain in life associated with healthy behaviors, and underscores the need for the clinical and public health communities to work together to promote greater adoption of these behaviors, says the CDC.
The study is published online in American Journal of Public Health.