4 Secrets to a Long Life of Japanese People | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

4 Secrets to a Long Life of Japanese People

By Yae Jan 25, 2018

This post is also available in: Russian



“What if there is a magical medicine which can allow you to live have an eternal life?”


Many of you may have thought about this question once in your life and even though life and death is something no one can avoid, people still want to live longer, as much as possible, while being healthy.

For the foreigners who live in Japan or think about living in Japan permanently, you may find the clues to have a long life here, in Japan.
Did you know that Japan has the longest average life expectancy in the entire world?
According to the statistics of WHO, Japan is NO.1 of the latest ranking of the average lifespan in 2016 from all 196 members nation of WHO.
How could Japan get the highest ranking? Let’s see the answers!


1.What’s the Latest Average Life Span in Japan?



According to the announcement of WHO of World Health Statistics in 2016, the average lifespan statistics ranking turned out to be as follows:
*( ) is age of average life spanlife span

Statistics ranking including both men and women
1. Japan (83.7 years old)
2. Switzerland (83.4 years old)
3. Singapore (83.1 years old)


Statistics ranking only for men
1. Switzerland (81.3 years old)
2. Iceland (81.2 years old)
3. Australia (80.9 years old)
※Japan was on ranking NO.6 with 80.5 years old


Statistics ranking only for women
1. Japan (86.8 years old)
2. Singapore (86.1 years old)
3. Spain and Korea (85.5 years old)


WHO also announced the healthy life expectancy in 2016 and Japan also got the highest ranking, NO.1 for this case as well with the 74.9 years old.
Healthy life expectancy means people who can live an independent life, and you can see Japanese people can live independently without other support even in that age.


2. Did Japanese People Always Have Long Life Spans?


After the war in 1947, Japan had the opportunity to become a long-life country.
Before that, around the time of the Heian Period (1185) to Edo Period (1868), both Japanese men and women’s average lifespan was only mid-thirties.
Due to the lack of nutritional status, bad health conditions and poor sanitary conditions, Japanese people couldn’t live very long, and people thought that living to 50 years old was the absolute limit at that time.

However, as Japan started to have an economic recovery and medical progress after the war in 1947, the average lifespan had remarkable change.
By 1965, the average lifespan for men became 70 and for women 75 years old.
Fortunately, this average lifespan continuously extended, and men became 74.2 years old and women became 79.8 years old by the year of 1984.
After the war, how did Japanese people successfully extend their average lifespan?


3. The 4 Biggest Points Which Helped Extend Japanese People’s Average Life Span



Japanese peoples’ average lifespan changed from 30 years old to 80 years old.
Here are 4 major reasons such as follows:


1. Protections against the infectious disease



Many Japanese people suffered from tuberculosis, pneumonia, stomach virus, etc. related to bacterial disease in old days and died since there was no medicine to cure those diseases. However, the invention of penicillin drugs was the trigger to develop specific cures in health care in Japan and this helped people live a longer life.

2. Improvements in Paediatric care



According to the progress of medical technology, Japanese people strengthened the pediatric care, and Japan is one of the top Countries in terms of the lowest infant mortality rate.



3.Improvement of nutritional status



After the war, Japanese people started to eat meat, and this is one of the biggest points to help to extend the average life age.
Japanese people had a lack of consuming animal protein like meats at the time, so eating meats made a well-balanced diet.


4. Well organized for national health insurance system



In the year of 1961, a national insurance health system was established, which gave everyone access to high-quality medical care.
There’s no income difference, and everyone can have the right to the same medical care.



4.What’s the Additional Life Style Differences Which Cause Long Life in Japan?


There are special daily habits that many Japanese people have, and they help to live a longer life.

If you try following Japanese daily habits every day, you’ll see gradually that “Practice Makes it Perfect”!


1. Eating Japanese meals to keep healthy



Japanese meals are attracting a lot of attention around the world as healthy food.
Even the famous singer Madonna loves Japanese meals to stay healthy, and she hires her own chef to make her Japanese meals every day.

The basic style of Japanese meal has vegetables, fish, soybean, and seaweed.
Eating meat is also important but overeating makes one unhealthy.
Japanese people also drink a lot of green tea while eating, and green tea contains a lot of catechin and vitamin C which helps to protect from arteriosclerosis and carcinogenesis.


2. Enjoying a Long, Relaxing Bath



Many Japanese people are taking long baths at home rather than just taking a quick shower every day.
Hot baths help to improve blood circulation and make people feel relaxed. This helps one to recover from tiredness as well.

Even if people get old, Japanese people love to go to an onsen (hot spring) trips, so men and women of all ages love taking hot baths and this contributes to good health.


3. Caring About Weight Control



Many Japanese people are focusing on keeping their weight under control.
Even old Japanese people are having quite slim body shapes, and they’re trying to stay active and exercise all the time.
Not only going to the gym and having real exercise, but many old Japanese people still sleep on futons instead of using a bed, so they lay out and fold up futons every day.
This daily habit is a great exercise for old people to keep moving.

There is nothing like a healthy long life.

Everybody has desires, but you need to control that desire carefully, especially lifestyle habits.
Eating a bunch of sweets, and doing nothing but being a couch potato makes your average lifespan shorter.

Hopefully, you can see why Japanese people have longer average lifespans.
If you want live and stay healthy longer, I hope this article helps you out!