This is the last in my series of positive speakers at the 2012 MAPP Summit in Philadelphia. Previous posts in this series discussed reciprocity rings, connectedness, perception of time, and MAPP alumni sharing.
You may have heard of Blue Zones, the fabulous research by Dan Buettner about healthy longevity around the world. Essentially, Dan has travelled to those places in the world where there is a higher-than-normal percentage of centenarians and researched what makes a long healthy life possible.
A few ideas that really resonated with me:
- About 80% of how long you live is attributable to lifestyle and environment. Only about 20% is genetic.
- People who have healthy long lives eat mostly plant diets (including grains).
- Societies where people tend to have healthy long lives have a positive collective attitude towards aging, and people in their 80s, 90s and even 100s still have meaningful jobs and are valued.
- People who have healthy long lives savour and don’t overeat. They stop at 80% of stomach capacity.
- They have a reason to get up in the morning and feel that they make a valuable difference in their community.
- They have “inconvenient” lives, which mean that they must physically move every day – gardening, working, climbing stairs, etc. Activity is integrated into their day and they move naturally.
- They get outside regularly as part of their normal lives.
- They remain connected in meaningful ways to friends and family.
- city policy – to make active options the easy options
- built environments – such as walking paths along the lake and connecting sidewalks
- social networks – such as creating friendly walking clubs in neighbourhoods
- building designs – how schools and grocery stores were physically set up to encourage healthy choices
- purpose (inner self) – to get people to contribute and volunteer (they set up a “speed dating” with volunteer organizations)
I’m off this afternoon to give another free talk about positive psychology, and talked with yet another interested host organization this morning! Would you like to bring more positive psychology to your organization – be it your workplace, club, volunteer group or anything else? Please see my original blog post about my 51 free talks on positive psychology, and contact me for more information. I’m now taking bookings for February 2013.