A sense of purpose in life emerges as one of five top priorities amoung over-55s in a new survey of over 21,000 people across 21 countries. The other most important factors were a balanced stress level, awareness of physical posture and movement, taking part in formal learning, opportunities to learn new skills and – when people are able – volunteering. The research comes from the McKinsey Health Institute. A healthy, nutritious diet lagged some way behind. The research, which also looks at elements such as desire to continue working, comes from the McKinsey Health Institute. It finds older people can expect an extra 20 years of life compared with those in 1960. But that does not always translate iinto perceived good health. When perceptions of good health are combined with life expectancy the UK is towards the bottom of the league table, with Italy and France ranking lower among European nations. Intriguingly, Japan has the highest life expectancy for those in oid age, but the share of Japanese respondents reporting good or very good health is among the lowest.

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