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Five countries where people live the longest

Explorers throughout history have searched for the legendary fountain of youth. And while the elusive fountain has yet to be found, certain places across the world have emerged as centres where people live substantially longer than the worldwide average (around 71 years), and each has its own secret source of vitality.

历史上的探险家们一直在孜孜不倦地寻找不老泉。尽管人们从未找到这个神秘的不老泉,但世界上某些地方却因为居民寿命远远超过世界平均水平(约 71 岁)而引发人们的关注,它们都有各自神秘的活力源泉。

We talked to residents in some of the countries where people live the longest, as ranked by the 2017 World Happiness Report, to uncover the reasons why these places seem to nurture longevity.

根据 2017 年《全球幸福指数报告》排名,我们采访了一些世界上最长寿国家的居民,以便揭示这些似乎能促进长寿的地方的奥秘所在。



Living to 83 on average, the Japanese have long had one of the highest life expectancies. Okinawa, often called ‘the land of immortals’, has been a global centre for longevity research, as these southern Japanese islands have more than 400 centenarians. Much credit for this has been given to the local diet, which includes plentiful tofu and sweet potato, and a small amount of fish. Active social circles among older residents and a strong community also contribute to lower levels of stress and a strong sense of belonging.

日本人的平均寿命为 83 岁,他们的预期寿命一直很长。常被称为"不朽之国"的冲绳一直是全球长寿研究的中心,因为在这个日本南部列岛上,百岁以上老人多达 400 多名。当地饮食居功至伟,包括丰富多样的豆腐和甘薯,还有少量的鱼类。当地老年人有着活跃的社交圈,社区关系紧密,这也有助于减轻压力,给人以强烈的归属感。

To reap these benefits, learning the language as an expat is critical, said Daniele Gatti, CEO of Velvet Media and long-time Japan resident. “Japan has an amazing quality of life if you can get past the language hurdle to better understand the mentality” – which is more different from Western culture than most visitors think, he added. “Expats willing to move here should think seriously about putting a major time allocation into learning the language. It’s key to integrating deeper in the local society and living a full and meaningful life.”

达尼埃尔·加蒂(Daniele Gatti)说,"对移居日本的外国人而言,要获得这些好处,学习日语至关重要",他是天鹅绒媒体公司 (Velvet Media) 首席执行官,长期居住在日本。他还说,"如果能跨越语言障碍,更好地理解当地人的心态,就会惊叹于日本的生活质量。它与西方文化的差异超越大多数游客的想象。愿意移居这里的外国人应该认真考虑一下,把主要时间花在学习日语上。要融入当地社会,过上充实而有意义的生活,这点非常关键。"



The Mediterranean diet, rich in heart-healthy olive oil, vegetables and wine, has long contributed to Spain’s long-lived population (averaging 82.8). But Spain has another longevity secret up its sleeve: the siesta.

长期以来,地中海饮食、富含有益心脏健康的橄榄油、蔬菜和葡萄酒都对西班牙人的长寿功不可没(平均寿命 82.8 岁)。但西班牙还有另一个长寿秘诀:午睡。

“People think all the Spaniards are doing la siesta when the shops are closed between 2:00 and 5:00, but it is simply how the working shift is organised,” said Miquel Àngel Diez i Besora from Barcelona and Gray Line tour guide. “If you have a continuous shift and just a half an hour break for lunch, then you eat a quick takeaway. On the contrary, if you are forced to stop for two or three hours, then you go home or go to a restaurant where you can sit down, eat two courses and dessert, and have time enough to digest well, it’s going to be healthier than a takeaway.”

巴塞罗那和格雷线导游米克尔·安赫尔·迭斯 (Miquel Àngel Diez) 说,"人们认为,下午 2:00 至 5:00 点之间,所有的西班牙人都在午睡,店铺都闭门谢客,这里的工作就是按这种节奏安排的。如果你有连班要上,中间只有半小时的午休时间,那么你就只能迅速吃个外卖了事。相反,如果你被迫停下来休息两三个小时,你就可以回家,或者去一家餐馆坐下来,吃上两道菜和甜点,还有足够的时间消化,这可比吃外卖健康。"

The density of Spanish cities also gets people moving more, since shops and restaurants all tend to be within walking distance of most people’s residences.


“When I moved to Barcelona from Moscow, I noticed that people here favour walking or biking, even walking few blocks to take public transport instead of using their own vehicles,” said Marina Manasyan, co-founder of Barcelona Eat Local Food Tours. “You get your cells oxygenated and you reduce your carbon footprint.”

巴塞罗那当地食品旅行社 (Barcelona Eat Local Food Tours) 联合创始人玛丽娜·马纳相 (Marina Manasyan) 说,"从莫斯科搬到巴塞罗那时,我注意到,这里的人喜欢步行或骑自行车,有的甚至步行几个街区去乘坐公交车,而不愿自己开车出行。你尽可以让细胞充满氧气,减少你的碳足迹。"



With broad access to the country’s state-of-the-art medical facilities and what’s been called a ‘miracle’ healthcare system, Singaporeans are living longer than ever at an average of 83.1 years old. The country has one of the lowest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world, and makes preventative care a focus of its healthcare.

新加坡人拥有先进的医疗设施和被称为"奇迹"的医疗体系,他们的寿命比以往任何时候都要长,平均寿命为 83.1 岁。新加坡是全球孕产妇和婴儿死亡率最低的国家之一,预防性治疗是该国医疗卫生工作的重点。

The culture and accessible urban environment also contributes to a longer life. “You will see a lot of people going to gyms or exercising in the public parks, which are plentiful,” said Bino Chua, a current resident and travel blogger at I Wander. The country even recently opened its first therapeutic park, designed to reduce stress and improve mental wellbeing among aging adults.

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文化氛围和无障碍的城市环境也有助于延长居民寿命。新加坡常住居民和旅游博主蔡比诺 (Bino Chua) 说,"你会看到,这里健身房或者公园比比皆是,人们经常去这些地方锻炼身体。"最近这里还开放了第一个治疗公园,旨在减少老年人的压力,改善他们的心理健康。

Health-averse habits are also harder to maintain in Singapore. “Expats should know that ‘vices’ are a lot more expensive here,” said Chau. “Cigarettes and alcohol are heavily taxed and cost a lot more than in other countries.”




Men fare better in Switzerland than anywhere else in the world, living to be 81 on average. As one of Europe’s wealthiest countries, access to high-quality healthcare, strong personal safety and sense of wellbeing contributes to the high rank – with some studies even pointing to the country’s high intake of cheese and dairy as a leading factor.

瑞士人的生活比世界上任何地方都好,平均寿命为 81 岁。瑞士是欧洲最富裕的国家之一,拥有优质的医疗服务、强烈的个人安全意识和良好的幸福感,这些都有助于这里的人保持长寿。一些研究甚至指出,瑞士人大量摄入奶酪和奶制品也是一个长寿的主要因素。

Though the country can be very career focused with many expats moving for work at one of the country’s many international headquarters, its central location makes it easy to balance frequent relaxing escapes. “It’s a career pinnacle, location-wise,” said Gatti, who has also lived in Switzerland. “Living here allows for wonderful weekend trips all over the continent and to spend time outdoors in the enchanting Alps.” The private schools are also some of the “best on the planet,” he added, which makes it appealing to young families.


South Korea


South Korea is set to be the first country to hit a life expectancy of 90 years according to recent research, which credits a strong and growing economy, broad access to healthcare and lower blood pressure than Western countries for its upward trajectory.

根据最近的研究,韩国将成为第一个预期寿命达到 90 岁的国家,对此以下因素功不可没:韩国经济增长强劲,医疗卫生条件良好,居民血压低于西方国家。

The country also has a diet rich in fermented foods, which are said to lower cholesterol, boost immunity and inhibit cancer. “As a whole, Korean food is high in fibre and nutrient-dense,” Hoheb said.


Residents say a cultural focus on community and the associated traditions contributes to the everyday quality of life here. “The Jimjilbang (public bathhouse) brings together people to recreate, to socialise and to help reduce stress,” said Camille Hoheb, founder of Wellness Tourism Worldwide. “In South Korea, there’s also an overall sense of mindfulness that comes with the Buddhist mindset and an overall attitude toward a culture of cooperation versus individualism.”

当地居民表示,重视社区和相关传统的文化氛围有助于提高这里的日常生活质量。全球养生旅游 (Wellness Tourism Worldwide) 创始人卡米尔·霍希伯 (Camille Hoheb) 说,"韩国汗蒸馆(公共澡堂)让人们齐聚一堂,放松身心和社交,有助于减压,韩国人有一种来自佛教思维的整体正念意识以及一种注重合作并反对个人主义的整体文化态度。"



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