A change in lifestyle could go a long way in increasing the life expectancy of a person. Making some small changes in life like quitting smoking, exercising more and eating better could increase your life expectancy by 11 to 12 years, says a study.
Researchers led by Professor Kay-Tee Khaw studied 25,663 men and women aged between 45 and 79 years from 1993 onwards in Norfolk and found small lifestyle changes could have a significant impact on how long you live, reported the online edition of BBC news.
The study that looked into their diet, environment, lifestyle and health asked participants to regularly fill questionnaires about these and had periodic check-ups from nurses.
Results from the study showed eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day can give you the life expectancy of someone three years younger.
Not smoking can turn the clock back by four to five years.
Even increasing exercise by a moderate amount can take up to three years off. But the amount of exercise someone would need to do to achieve that depends on his or her job.
An office worker would need to do one hour of exercise, such as swimming or jogging, every day, while a person with a moderately active job, such as a hairdresser, would need 30 minutes exercise a day.
People with active jobs, including nurses and bricklayers, do not need to do any extra exercise - as their work is strenuous enough.
"Many of us find it difficult to change our usual lifestyle," said Khaw.
"However, there is increasing evidence that even relatively small changes can make a big difference to our health and well being," he added.