If you're looking to live a healthier, long life, consider moving to a country where people tend to live longer than most. The Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index ranks 169 countries according to variants that contribute to a person's overall health, with Spain coming in as the healthiest country in the world. The United State ranked 35th on the list.
According to studies, genetics can only do so much when it comes to longevity. There are factors far more important than your genetic expression—as much as three times more important. They include having an optimistic outlook on life, maintaining a low-stress level, living with a sense of purpose, keeping active, and eating a healthy diet.
Seeking out a place to dwell where people naturally live that kind of lifestyle seems a smart decision. However, if heading overseas to the following locales doesn't seem feasible, there are domestic options that can boost your quality of life.
By 2040, Spain will have the highest life span, at nearly 86 years, according to the University of Washington's Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation. The typical Mediterranean diet, which is rich in healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, is a significant factor in the overall health of its residents, as it decrease the rate of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks. Spain's residents also walk much more than residents in other countries and have a successful universal health care program.
Like Spain, many of Italy's residents consume a typical Mediterranean diet, which leads to an overall healthier life. It's also known for having an excellent health care system. The island of Sardinia, off the coast of Italy, has nearly 10 times more centenarians per capita than the United States, possibly because of residents' propensity for an active, outdoor life.
Iceland's residents spent a lot of time doing outdoor activities, which helps with a healthy lifestyle. They also eat a diet consisting largely of fresh seafood and free-range meat, as well as skyr, a yogurt-like cultured dairy product. The health of its residents may also have something to do with the country's natural hot springs, which help people relax and minimize stress.
Japan ranks second in having the longest lifespan by 2040, with a predicted lifespan of 85.7 years. It also has the oldest population in the world, with a third of its residents over age 65. The country has some of the lowest rates of obesity, which help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, as does it traditional diet that's rich in soy and fish.
Switzerland ranks as number 5 in the list of the world's healthiest countries. The country was ranked as the third happiest in the UN's 2013 World Happiness Report, as well as ranked high for its levels of well-being on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Better Life Index. The country has a low rate of depression and invest in education for its citizens.