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"Consistently enjoying life could make you live longer."


If you are looking for the recipe for a happy, healthy, and long life, you can forget pills and potions. The secret to living into ripe old age may have been revealed by researchers from the University College London in the United Kingdom, and the ingredients include several instances of life enjoyment.

The new research - featured in the Christmas issue of The BMJ - builds on a previous study by the team that looked at subjective well-being (feelings of enjoyment and satisfaction with life) on a single occasion.

Their earlier findings were promising and showed that enjoyment of life during a single moment in time was associated with a longer life. However, the team planned to take the research one step further and conduct a new study that analyzed whether enjoyment of life over a longer period would show the same results.

The University College London (UCL) researchers put forward the question: how important is sustained well-being? They aimed to examine whether enjoyment of life reported time after time over several years would have a stronger correlation with mortality than enjoyment of life reported as a single occurrence.

The study included 9,365 adults with an average age of 63 years. The participants were taking part in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), which is a study of men and women age 50 and older living in England.
Almost one quarter of people experienced no life enjoyment

Enjoyment of life was assessed three times at 2-year intervals between 2002-2006 through questionnaires, and associations with mortality were evaluated up to 2013.

The participants were asked to rate the following statements on a four-point scale to measure life enjoyment: "I enjoy the things that I do;" "I enjoy being in the company of others;" "On balance, I look back on my life with a sense of happiness;" "I feel full of energy these days."

People in the group who responded with "never or rarely" to each of the four statements were classified as having no enjoyment. Individuals who responded with "sometimes or often" to each of the four statements were categorized as having high enjoyment.

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Date Posted
Thursday, 29 December 2016
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Wednesday, 29 March 2017
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