Overview Wellbeing and Disease Prevention

Live Longer Better


The approach of considering long term lifestyle changes to improve the quality of your life and your longevity is encapsulated by the “Live longer better” campaign of Professor Muir Gray (Live Longer Better – Home).

Professor Muir Gray suggests
“The number of people over 80 is going to increase significantly in the next ten years with little increase in healthy life expectancy in prospect. This has huge implications for health and social care services. It doesn’t have to be this way. The evidence is strong that the incidence of the major causes of disability and dependency can be prevented or delayed.”

He suggests a much more positive approach to physical, social and mental wellbeing than most of us have at present.

Activity is key but not just physical activity

Professor Muir Gray suggests
“Activity, physical, mental and social, or, to put it another way, physical, cognitive and emotional is of vital importance in achieving optimal ageing, that is, to keep the gap  between your actual level of ability and your best possible level of ability by preventing loss of fitness or regaining lost fitness, both physical and mental  by what we have called ‘training’ but could just as well  be called activity, particularly activity that challenges body brain and mind.”

This is not a theoretical approach but one with evidence from communities around the world and also increasing levels of research on the topic.


There are many examples of places around the world where people not only live longer, often reaching 100, but also live better (with a better quality of life). Though research may not have pinned down exactly what is the most important ingredient of a longer and better life many of these places (e.g., Original Blue Zones Explorations Original Blue Zones Explorations – Blue Zones) have common features including good physical wellbeing (healthy diets, healthy weights, and ongoing exercise), and also importantly good social and mental wellbeing. This is further summarised by Patient Do “Blue Zones” hold the secrets to a longer life? | Patient.

Whatever the merits of looking at particular geographical areas, and there does need to be much more research in this area, there is increasing evidence for many of the ingredients of better health. It is clear that improving physical wellbeing (healthy diet, healthy weight and exercise), mental and social wellbeing together, as well as paying attention to any risk factors such as smoking and excess alcohol, can whatever our baseline improve our overall health and will also improve our quality of life whatever age we live to.

Further information on making life style changes with local support can be found under

There is no age when it is too late to make changes

Better Ageing cover some of the steps suggested from recent research you can consider which may help with improving your biological age
Though this is an American site it captures some of the research on the topic of ageing and what simple actions (without any cost) we can all take 
Can you change your biological age? How to Change Your Biological Age 

As we explain in the overview of wellbeing and disease prevention there is an abundance of local resources to help you achieve many of these steps.

There are a number of reputable organisations doing research into ageing. These sites may have links to further information on the latest research as it becomes available.

From Age UK
Centres of Ageing Research Centres of Ageing Research | Age UK

From the Laboratory for Aging in Living Systems (ALIS) – Yale School of Medicine
Our Research Research | Levine Lab

The big secret for better health for everyone may not be more health appointments but better self care

As the Global Self-Care Federation suggest
“Self-care is the practice of individuals looking after their own health using the knowledge and information available to them. It is a decision-making process that empowers individuals to look after their own health efficiently and conveniently, in collaboration with health and social care professionals as needed.” What is self-care? | Global Self-Care Federation leading to

  • Better choice
  • Better care
  • Better Value

What is self-care?
“Self-care involves:

  • Making healthy lifestyle choices – being physically active and eating healthily
  • Avoiding unhealthy lifestyle habits – avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
  • Making responsible use of prescription and non-prescription medicines
  • Self-recognition of symptoms – assessing and addressing symptoms, in partnership with a healthcare professional where necessary
  • Self-monitoring – checking for signs of deterioration or improvement
  • Self-management – managing symptoms of disease, either alone, in partnership with healthcare professionals, or alongside other people with the same health condition”

The benefits are not just for individual patients but also to all who use health services. “Self-care will ease the burden on overstretched health systems by reducing costs.” Economic & Social Value of Self-Care Report | Global Self-Care Federation

The section on “wellbeing and disease prevention” takes you through many steps towards better health you can often take without you needing to attend your GP practice.

Reducing health inequalities in our local communities

The benefits of improving wellbeing and disease prevention go beyond us as individuals but will improve our local communities, and reduce many of the health inequalities that presently exist. The positive impact will be for all age groups from birth to death. The rationale for this approach is covered in a document from Gov UK public health – Health matters: Prevention – a life course approach  Health matters: Prevention – a life course approach.

Senior health

There is further information on senior health, see under

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