Ways to live longer

Slow healing (part 8)

Two different sources suggest ways to lengthen your life. My ‘theology’ embraces both.

The statistician

David Speigenhalter, a statistician here in Cambridge, has calculated what fitness tips can do to your expected lifespan. Here are some of them:

  • Five fruit and veg every day: add four years
  • Twenty minutes light/moderate exercise per day: add two years
  • Two cups of coffee: add one year
  • One small alcoholic drink: add one year.


  • smoke 14-24 ciggies: take off seven years
  • be obese: take off 2.5 years
  • eat one portion of red meat: take off one year
  • every daily alcoholic drink after the first: take off 0.7 years.
  • watch TV for two hours: take off 0.7 years.1
Jewish wisdom

The Bible has a few tips too, time honoured if not actually peer-reviewed:

  • Fearing God (Deuteronomy 6:2)
  • A longing fulfilled (Proverbs 13:12)
  • Wise living (Proverbs 9:11, 13:14, 16:22)
  • A heart at peace (Proverbs 14:30)
  • Gracious speech or the ‘soothing tongue’ (Proverbs 15:4, 16:24)
  • Good news (Proverbs 15:30)
  • Walking in the way of justice (Proverbs 16:31)
  • A cheerful heart (Proverbs 17:22)
  • Pursuing righteousness and love (Proverbs 21:21)

Unhealthy ones:

  • Having a wife of non-noble character (Proverbs 12:4) (I’m not making this up)
  • Hope deferred (Proverbs 13:12)
  • Envy (Proverbs 14:30)
  • A crushed spirit (17:22 and 18:14)


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  1. All these are from the appendix to his book The Norm Chronicles

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