How your mindset determines your health

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It’s not just how much exercise you do but how you compare yourself with your friends that really determines your fitness.

Scientists at Stanford University in the US looked at mortality data for 61,000 adults. For 21 years, dozens of measures were taken, including how much people exercised and crucially, how much exercise they thought they did compared with others their age, during which time some of the participants had died from a range of illnesses.

Analysing the various factors that might have contributed to the participants’ health, the researchers discovered something extraordinary. People who thought they weren’t doing as much exercise as their peers died younger than those who thought they did more, even when the actual amount of exercise they did was the same.

Analysing the various factors that might have contributed to the participants’ health, the researchers discovered something extraordinary. People who thought they weren’t doing as much exercise as their peers died younger than those who thought they did more, even when the actual amount of exercise they did was the same.

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