(MENAFN - SWNS)
News Copy - By Rob Knight
Gossip, getting plenty of sun - and NOT working in an office is the art to a long and happy life, according to older Brits.
Those aged 55 plus also believe getting at least eight hours sleep, living somewhere rural and having a loving partner helps.
Painting and drawing, seeing lots of the world and a small act of kindness every single day can also lead to a prolonged and contented existence.
The research of 2,000 adults aged 55 and over, commissioned by Bupa to mark Care Home Open Day which takes place on June 28th, also found they first began to realise the secret to a happy life at the age of 49.
Joan Elliott, managing director of Bupa Care Services said: 'We will all have our own theories on what makes for a happy and fulfilled life but it's fascinating to get the insights of the older generation.
'Overall there are a number of themes within our top 50 secrets to a long and happy life namely love, friendship, creativity, eating well and being outside.
'Creativity appears to be especially important and perhaps this is because it stimulates the mind and allows us to express ourselves and release any frustrations.'
The survey also found that laughing an average of eight times a day also leads to a long and happy life.
Reading every day is recommended too, along with taking care of your appearance and owning a pet.
Getting your five-a-day also has a positive effect - as does listening to music every day and working with people you get on with.
Going on a big holiday every year is believed to make a difference as well, alongside enjoying chocolate and cake in moderation, and doing things for charity.
It also emerged half of over 55s wish they had more time to do the things which make them happy – such as hobbies and spending time with family.
Those polled have an average of two hobbies on the go and dedicate more than 369 hours a year to them – the equivalent of 15 days in total.
Carried out through OnePoll, the Bupa research also found over 55s think creativity is key to being happy – something 35 per cent wish they had more time for.
And being happy is 'vital' to our physical and mental wellbeing - nine in 10 believe happiness improves our overall health levels.
Of those polled, 37 per cent said they are happier now than they ever have been.
Joan Elliott added: 'It's fantastic to see so many respondents are happy with their lives.
"Most people might think we're happiest when we are younger but the research shows there is much to look forward to as we grow older - having more time to pursue hobbies is just one thing to be excited about.
"In our care homes, we make sure our residents have a variety of activities they can enjoy to ensure they are living fulfilled lives - this varies from gardening to arts and crafts.
"This Care Home Open Day, I want to encourage people of all ages to visit our homes and join in with the activities we are putting on.'
TOP 50 – SECRETS TO A LONG AND HAPPY LIFE:
1. A loving partner
2. Being close to family
3. Laughing every day
4. Doing regular exercise
5. Getting out and enjoying nature
6. Getting eight hours a sleep
7. Owning a pet
8. Having enough money to do what you want
9. Having a job you love
10. Playing with your children/grandchildren
11. Having a hobby
12. Having at least one really close friend
13. Getting your five-a-day
14. Living in the countryside
15. A small act of kindness every day
16. Reading every day
17. Having lots of friends
18. Having a good sex life
19. Having breakfast every day
20. Going on lots of little holidays
21. Listening to music every day
22. The Mediterranean diet
23. Seeing lots of the world
24. Looking after your appearance
25. Working with people you get along with
26. Making sure you get enough sun
27. Having treats like chocolate and cake in moderation
28. Avoiding alcohol
29. Going on a big holiday every year
30. Doing a crossword or Sudoku every day
31. Doing puzzles
32. Watching your favourite TV shows
33. Getting up early
34. Cooking every day
35. Relaxing with yoga or meditation
36. Eating whatever you want
37. Having a lie in at least once a week
38. Getting involved in the local community
39. Doing things for charity
40. Staying single
41. Going to events like concerts or sporting events
42. Going to the beach as much as possible
43. Doing something craft-related such as knitting or crochet
44. Not working in an office
45. Giving someone else a compliment every day
46. Having a good gossip
47. Taking/looking at photos every day
48. Painting or drawing
49. Getting a compliment from someone else every day
50. Playing a musical instrument every day