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What Sets Okinawa Apart From the Rest of the World?

Updated May 17, 2024
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You might not get to live forever, but your best shot could be to move to the island of Okinawa, Japan. The so-called "island of longevity" is home to an extraordinary number of people who live to the age of 100 and beyond.

The residents of Okinawa, one of the world's "blue zones" of longevity, enjoy close relationships with others, a healthy, antioxidant-rich diet filled with vegetables, gentle daily exercise, and, perhaps most importantly, a reason to live, also known as ikigai. According to Héctor García and Francesc Miralles, authors of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, ikigai is about focusing on your true nature and setting a goal that you can continue to pursue every day. Other important aspects include connecting with nature and surrounding yourself with loved ones.

Living longer:

  • Since 1990, global life expectancy has increased by seven years.

  • Although Europe has the most countries with high life expectancies, Japan and Singapore top the list, with life expectancies in the low 80s, on average.

  • Women live longer than men in all but three countries, with an average of six years of extra life.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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