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Home » The Secret to Living Longer May Be Your Social Life by Susan Pinker (Transcript)

The Secret to Living Longer May Be Your Social Life by Susan Pinker (Transcript)

Susan Pinker

Here is the full transcript of psychologist Susan Pinker’s TED Talk: The Secret to Living Longer May Be Your Social Life.

Listen to the MP3 Audio: The secret to living longer may be your social life by Susan Pinker

TRANSCRIPT:

Here’s an intriguing fact. In the developed world, everywhere, women live an average of six to eight years longer than men do. Six to eight years longer. That’s, like, a huge gap.

In 2015, the “Lancet” published an article showing that men in rich countries are twice as likely to die as women are at any age. But there is one place in the world where men live as long as women. It’s a remote, mountainous zone, a blue zone, where super longevity is common to both sexes.

This is the blue zone in Sardinia, an Italian island in the Mediterranean, between Corsica and Tunisia, where there are six times as many centenarians as on the Italian mainland, less than 200 miles away. There are 10 times as many centenarians as there are in North America. It’s the only place where men live as long as women. But why? My curiosity was piqued.

I decided to research the science and the habits of the place, and I started with the genetic profile. I discovered soon enough that genes account for just 25% of their longevity. The other 75% is lifestyle.

So what does it take to live to 100 or beyond? What are they doing right? What you’re looking at is an aerial view of Villagrande. It’s a village at the epicenter of the blue zone where I went to investigate this, and as you can see, architectural beauty is not its main virtue, density is: tightly spaced houses, interwoven alleys and streets. It means that the villagers’ lives constantly intersect.

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