Global Resilience Solutions > Longevity Secrets of the World’s Longest-Lived Cultures

Longevity Secrets of the World’s Longest-Lived Cultures


What is the key to a long life? Is there one decisive factor, or are there many?

Twin studies have shown that genetics play a relatively small role in longevity, but we also know there are societies in the world that radically outperform us in lifespan. So what is their secret?

It turns out that there is no one distinctive feature that we can point to and say “Aha! That’s the fountain of youth!”  Instead, a constellation of significant factors pervades their ways of life.  A lot of these are familiar, yet unfamiliar.

It’s not about how much you exercise in the Western sense. It is about how much you move. It isn’t about going on a diet as we understand it. It is about what sorts of things you subsist on and how much.

But perhaps more importantly, it’s about a healthy emotional life, enjoying the work you do, having lasting friendships, participating in a community, not getting caught up in anger. It’s about a sense of purpose.

It is also about the difference between our society and the societies that are outperforming us in longevity.  The totality of how they view and engage in life and how they respond to aging embodies a balance that is very difficult for us to master.


One comment
  1. Posted 2 years ago

    The subject of longevity is both intriguing and compelling. You know the saying:”everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die”. Even the Bible holds out longevity as a blessing from God for honoring Him and abiding in Him (see Psalm 91:16).

    Longevity is determined by many factors, some under our control and others not. These include genetics, the environment, diet and lifestyle in general.Every action is either healthful and life-promoting or not. This we must bear in mind in our quest for longevity in the face of our pleasure seeking, pain avoiding nature.

    The real issue however is not how long we live but rather the quality of our lives. Who wants to live to a hundred if they are going to be a burden on their love ones? Only the very selfish. Old age however does not have to mean decrepitude. Aging is a chronological fact of life, but how we age is a lifestyle choice made moment-by-moment. We can take steps to mitigate the downside of aging. First and foremost we must take charge of our health.

    As Martin Luther King,Jr. said in his famous “I’ve been to the mountain top speech” longevity has its place.Tomorrow is not promised us.Let us therefore strive to live our “best lives”, however long or short it may be.

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