The inhabitants of southern Japan are among the very small groups of people around the world who are living healthy and active lives beyond the age of 100.
A report from the Japanese government says that the number of centenarians from the region reached a record high this year. In all, 17,934 centenarians are alive in Japan right now, up by 2,459 on last year. Of these, 80 per cent are women. In 1963, there were just 153 centenarians in the country.
Health researchers reckon the increase is caused by the warm climate in southern Japan, a healthy diet and tight-knit social groups found in the area. However, these are reasons that were all in place in 1963, which suggests a factor X at play over the 40 years since then.
Our own studies have found that a purpose to live is one of the key components for a long and healthy life, possibly through a useful or worthwhile activity. Belief that involves a community, such as an organised religion, can also help. All of this presupposes a healthy lifestyle, including exercise and sensible diet.
Did you know you can download a FREE COPY of our report 100 Ways to Live to a 100? Just visit our website: http://www.wddty.co.uk for your copy.