Live a little in order to live a long life.
That’s one of the key findings in a study of the oldest demographic in American society, which has been in the works since 2003.
Researchers with the 90+ Study, which seeks in part to find “what makes people live to age 90 and beyond,” have come to a couple of conclusions that fly in the face of those healthy lifestyle habits so many are trying to follow.
University of California-Irvine researchers, through their work with about 1,700 nonagenarians, have found that “people who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained.”
One of the study’s principal researchers, Claudia Kawas, spoke recently at the annual conference for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
“I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity,” Kawas said at the conference, according to the Independent.
The researchers found that those who consumed about two glasses of beer, wine or coffee per day were 18 percent less likely to die young.
Compare that with daily exercise, which also was a predictor for a longer life — just not as good a predictor as having a couple drinks. Participants who spent 15 to 45 minutes a day working out reduced their risk of an early death by 11 percent.
Being slightly overweight during one’s 70s was good for a 3 percent reduced chance of an early death.
“It’s not bad to be skinny when you’re young, but it’s very bad to be skinny when you’re old,” Kawas told U.S. News and World Report.
But perhaps the best way to keep going into your 90s? A regular hobby does the trick.
Study participants who spent two hours a day at a hobby were 21 percent less likely to experience a premature death.