Map reveals the areas of England with the highest life expectancy – how long could you live? | The Sun11/15/2023
THE average Brit now lives to 81 years old – but this varies across the country.
While those living in some areas might make it to almost 90, others are popping their clogs far younger.
Research by NowPatient has revealed the areas in England with the highest average life expectancy.
In first place was London's Kensington and Chelsea, where residents live to the grand old age of 86.02.
The posh neighbourhood has the lowest obesity rate in the country, with just one in 10 classified as very overweight with excess body fat.
Obesity increases a person's risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke and mental health problems – all of which can be fatal.
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Westminster (85.91), Camden (85.39) and Richmond upon Thames (84.31), all also in the capital, took silver, bronze and fourth place respectively.
In fifth position was Rutland, East Midlands, where people make it to 84.07 on average.
And those in both Wokingham, Berkshire, and Harrow, on the outskirts of London, tend to live to 83.96.
Barnet in North London (83.77), Bracknell Forest in Berkshire (83.55), and Kingston upon Thames on the Surrey-London border (83.45) rounded out the top 10.
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Also well above the national average were West Berkshire (83.27), Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire (83.26), Bromley in southeast London (83.06), Dorset (83.05), South Gloucestershire (83), Bath and North East Somerset (82.91), Wiltshire (82.73), Brent in north-west London (82.71), North Somerset (82.55), and Redbridge on the London-Essex border (82.53).
Experts used data from the Office for National Statistics up to the year 2020.
But the numbers are just averages, and thankfully they are changeable as there are steps you can take to help you live longer.
1. Don't smoke
Around 76,000 people die from smoking every year in the UK.
Many more live with smoking-related illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Quitting the habit will improve your sense of taste and smell, breathing, and energy levels, according to the NHS.
After one year, your risk of heart attack halves compared to a smoker's, then falls to the same as someone who has never smoked after 15.
Most people know that moving their body and getting their heart rate up is good for them.
But many fail to get the 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week (or 75 minutes of vigorous activity) the NHS recommends.
Adding this into your routine can reduce your risk of major illnesses and lower your risk of early death by up to 30 per cent, experts say.
Swimming, cycling and dancing all count, as does brisk walking, pushing a lawn mower and carrying heavy shopping bags.
Spending time with friends and family can provide a serious health boost, research suggests.
A growing body of evidence has linked nurtured social lives and a long life.
Experts say socialising reduces feelings of loneliness, sharpens memory and cognitive skills and increases your sense of happiness and wellbeing.
One nine-year study of 7,000 men and women found those who were disconnected from others were three times more likely to die than those with strong friendships.
And another, carried out by the Sichuan University West China Hospital, revealed socialising nearly every day was the most beneficial for overall prolonged survival.
4. Sleep well
Chronic poor sleep can increase your chances of developing dementia, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and weight gain, scientists say.
So it's important to get between seven and nine hours every night, according to the NHS.
To help you achieve this, experts recommend:
- Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (even on weekends)
- Relaxing at least one hour before going to bed (e.g. taking a bath or reading a book)
- Ensuring your bedroom is dark and quiet (use curtains, blinds, an eye mask or ear plugs if needed)
- Exercise regularly throughout the day
- Using a comfortable mattress, pillow and duvet
They also advise against drinking or smoking at least six hours before hitting the hay, not eating big meals late at night, avoiding naps, and not trying to have a lie-in after a bad night's kip.
5. Eat a balanced diet
A well-balanced diet provides the energy you need throughout the day and the nutrients you need for growth and repair.
But it can also help you maintain a healthy weight and ward off problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and heart trouble.
According to the Eatwell Guide, this means eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetable every day, basing meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes and rice, consuming some beans, pulses, fish eggs and meat, and drinking plenty of fluids (at least six to eight glasses a day).
Portion sizes are also important, and men and women should consume no more than 2,500 or 2,000 calories a day respectively.
Blue Zoners – people from parts of the world where many residents live to 100 – swear by a primarily plant-based diet.
They mostly scoff fruits, vegetables, grains and beans, indulging in fish and eggs a couple of times a week and saving meat for special occasions.
6. Reduce stress
It's easy to see how stress impacts us in the short term – headaches, disrupted sleep, and increased or decreased appetite.
But long-term stress can lead to chronic inflammation, which is linked to age-related diseases, author Dan Buettner said.
The American National Geographic Fellow told MedicalNewsToday that centenarians in Blue Zone regions, which includes areas of Japan, Costa Rica, Italy and California, have included napping or indulging in a (restrained) happy hour to shed the stress.
7. Protect your skin
Our bodies age at different speeds – and this includes our individual organs.
One of the fastest-ageing is the skin, so it's important to protect it.
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This means wearing sunscreen, even in the UK when it's cloudy, and covering up or staying out of the sun when it's hot.
Not doing so puts you at risk of wrinkly skin and of course skin cancer, which kills more than six people every day in the UK.
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