What Japan Teaches About Life Expectancy

Japan is known for sushi, Geisha girls and the spectacular Mount Fuji. And over recent years, has also become known for its life expectancy, which is among the highest in the world. Currently home to the oldest man in the world, Japan’s population has a very high percentage of residents who are aged 100 or over, with the majority of these being women.

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According to the World Health Organisation, Japan’s life expectancy is in the top ten highest in the world with males reaching 80. However, Japanese women have the highest life expectancy in the world at 87. Japan often holds the record for the oldest man and woman in the year, but after the death of 117 year old Misao Okawa in April this year, 116 year old Susannah Mushatt Jones from New York is now the title holder.

Despite this recent take over by the USA – who doesn’t make it into either male or female top ten list in terms of life expectancy – the Japanese know how to maintain their health up until old age. Many of the Japanese age record holders have attributed their longevity to healthy eating and getting plenty of sleep. Not smoking or drinking and keeping relatively active were also factors in maintaining good health long-term.

A strong emphasis is placed on the quality of food as many Japanese people consume fresh fruits and vegetables with less oil content than Western nations. They also consume more units of seafood compared to red meats. They do however, have a higher salt content with miso soup and soy sauce being a regular occurrence at meal times. A lesser consumption of dairy and less overall calories helps to keep Japanese residents healthier than their Western counterparts. Staying regularly active from gentle activities such as walking and bike riding are also credited for a higher life expectancy.

Priding themselves on great lifestyle choices, Japanese people can expect a longer life expectancy, though Australia is not far behind with men down under having a life expectancy of 80.5 and women of 84.6. It seems that Australians are trying to make healthier decisions to keep them living longer.

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