WE all want to be on this planet for as long as possible.
For the most part, staying healthy involves consuming a balanced diet and exercising.
But experts have said that a dose of optimism could be just as important as sweating it out at the gym when it comes to adding years to your life.
Medics studied 159,255 women and found that optimists were more likely to live past the age of 90, than people who veered on the pessimistic side.
Writing in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, doctors said that optimism was in fact associated with a 5.4 per cent increase in lifespan – or the same as adding an extra 4.4 years of life on average.
This was found even in subjects who suffered with issues such as depression and other chronic health conditions.
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The experts were keen to note that other social and economic factors were also taken into consideration.
The link between optimism and a longer life was also noted across all ethnic and racial groups.
The experts said: “Of note, exercise has been widely recognised as an important factor for health and studies have shown that regular exercise adds 0.4-4.2 years of life.
"Thus our findings suggest the impact of optimism may be comparable to that of exercise.”
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Further analysis of the findings shows that women are the most optimistic group.
It found they were 10 per cent more likely to live past 90 than those who were less optimistic.
What did have an impact on the findings, researchers said, were lifestyle factors such as the choice of healthy foods available.
Other issues included the types of support networks people have when they are going through tough times.
Studies have previously found that Brits who enjoy a regular brew are up to a third less likely to die young.
Coffee lovers even get the health benefits if they add sugar.
Dr Dan Liu, from Southern Medical University in China, said: “Our study found that adults who drank moderate amounts of coffee sweetened with sugar every day were about 30 per cent less likely to die from any cause compared to non-coffee drinkers.”
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Coffee connoisseurs faced less danger from cancer or heart disease in the study.
And instant, ground and decaf versions were all linked to a lower death risk.
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