Latest News:  
Beijing   Overcast/Moderate rain    9 / 12 ℃  City Forecast

English>>Life & Culture

Living well better than living long

By Liu Zhihua  (China Daily)

10:55, October 24, 2012

Fung Chi-chung and Wong Fai-fai at their home. (Rebecca Lo / China Daily)

Living longer is no longer the point - it is living a healthy, happy long life that is most important. And for China's elderly, it is knowing how to strike the right balance, according to a medical expert.

>>>Read more: Golden oldies of Hong Kong

"High life expectancy doesn't necessarily mean a long, healthy and happy life," says Li Xiaogang, deputy director of the Neurology Department of Peking University No 3 Hospital.

"The abundance of medical resources is a prime contributor to longevity, but a healthy lifestyle and emotional well-being are also very important."

China is now better off economically. But, as the population ages, the proliferation of chronic diseases among elderly patients has become a big social burden. The more hectic lifestyle of today also takes its toll among the elderly, Li adds.

In contemporary China, where the young are always busy at work away from home, old people often live alone. They fall prey to empty-nest syndrome, which often manifests as depression, grief and loneliness.

Playing mahjong or practicing Chinese calligraphy can keep brains active and limbs limber, but even these are not without risks, if the old overdo it. These may cause problems in bones and blood vessels - and sometimes even lead to stroke, Li says.

"For the old, it is important to keep an open mind and live life to its fullest," says Pang Yu, a psychologist and deputy director at the Beijing Huilongguan Hospital, a leading mental institution in the capital.

Pang says studies show people who live longer share many common personality traits - they are generally at peace with themselves, friendly to others and open-minded.

Many who Pang knows do charity, even though they are already in their 80s and 90s.

One of Pang's teachers is older than 80 and loves playing mahjong and always wins. But he also takes part in many other activities, such as mountain-climbing and traveling.

"In a word, he loves life," Pang says. "An elderly person should do something he likes to keep himself occupied. So, he will not feel empty. But he should also not overdo it."

In other words, again, moderation is key.

Recommendations:
News we recommend

Odds

Travel

Sports

Picturesque Zhenjiang through lens

Get ready for autumn health

Amazing autumn scenery outside scenic spots

Prevent 'ugly buildings' from tarnishing cities

Practical artistic work or 'naked lady’ chairs?

What mentality does 'Chinese-style street crossing' reflect?

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:高奕楠、叶欣)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name

  

Selections for you


  1. Simulated battlefield environment drill

  2. Aircraft carrier USS George Washington docked

  3. U.S. naval vessels cruise in waters

  4. Sexy girls in China's national pole dancing team

  5. A glimpse of hard security guard training

  6. Key economic figures raise China's growth hopes

  7. Independent designers strut onto int'l catwalks

  8. Data center of Google

Most Popular

Opinions

  1. Fears that yuan rise will hit exports unfounded
  2. Tax reform crucial to stable growth
  3. No sharp decline for property prices
  4. Japan to bear consequence of breaking promise
  5. How to hard sell China's soft power
  6. Commentary: China's top spot for global FDI
  7. Commentary: Remedies for economic challenges
  8. San Francisco treaty doesn't help Japan
  9. Public angered over Chinese 'forced kowtow'
  10. Environment anger shows need for reform

What’s happening in China

Teacher abuses kids, posts photos

  1. Girls forced to sell sex, fake virginity with eel blood
  2. Hospital staff members jailed for taking bribes
  3. Pressure takes its toll on Beijingers: survey
  4. Plan to halve capital's traffic controversial
  5. Authorities gear up for poaching season