Life expectancy is something everyone thinks about. Who doesn’t want to live as long as they possibly can? I know I do. But for many reasons, some of them all too obvious, America has nowhere near the highest life expectancy among other countries (78.7 years). So in this article, we’ll break down what the citizens of the countries with the highest life expectancy do to keep themselves alive and well much longer than us.
I don’t know about you, but I did not expect Singapore to come in at number 7 on the list of countries with the highest life expectancy. But if you’ve ever actually been to Singapore, you know just how clean the country is. If you don’t believe me, just know that gum is banned and littering is an illegal and punishable offense throughout the country.
Not to mention Singapore has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world and one of the lowest crime rates in their world. So with all of this combined, it’s no surprise the country’s average life expectancy is 82.6.
Ahh, those sneaky French! Always doing cool things and looking better than us! One might think their love of wine would be a problem, but actually, the fact that it is so widely accepted and people begin drinking wine at such a young age contributes to a very small amount of French people binge drinking or developing drinking problems at all.
Another major factor that leads to France’s average life expectancy of 82.7 is that they don’t overeat. Their meals and portion sizes are noticeably smaller than those in America, which of course leads to lower obesity rates. We could learn a thing or two from the French!
Iceland is truly a magical country that is starting to receive more and more attention as a vacation destination. But it’s also a wonderful place if you want to live a long and healthy life as they have an average life expectancy of 82.9 years! Much of this could be due to their healthy economy and well-funded healthcare system. But their diet of mostly fresh seafood and little to no processed foods doesn’t hurt either.
Another Nordic country finds itself on this list of healthiest and oldest people in the world – surprise, surprise! Similar to Iceland, Switzerland has a very high average household income and fantastic health care coverage. So it’s no surprise that their average life expectancy is 83.2. The Swiss are also known for their active, outdoor-loving lifestyles, which surely contributes to their long lives.
Thank you, the Mediterranean! The people of Spain boast an average life expectancy of 83.4 years thanks to the frequent vitamin D they receive from all that sunlight and their national habit of daily naps. They also often make a point to take their time with lunch and enjoy it with their family. This can greatly contribute to a reduction in stress and therefore assist in extending life.
Just like Spain, Italy can thank it’s Mediterranean lifestyle for it’s average life expectancy of 83. 5. And also similar to Spain, they can likely thank their relaxed and slow-paced national lifestyle for reducing their stress and extending their lives. Their diet is key too, as it contains high amounts of fresh fish, garlic, olive oil, and vegetables.
Surprise, surprise! Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world! They also happen to have the oldest man (113) and oldest woman (115) in the world. This should actually come as a surprise to no one as we’ve known how great the Japanese are at living for a long time for… well, a long time! And with the Japanese, it’s likely all about the diet. When most of your diet consists of fish, squid, tofu, and seaweed, you’re probably living a pretty healthy life!
But the other sneaky element in Japanese longevity is the common morning exercise routine many Japanese practice known as rajio taiso. It’s essentially a calisthenics routine done to music or at times guided by a radio broadcast. Seems simple enough! Maybe I’ll start giving it a shot.