Eternity: could we ever become immortal?

People now live longer than ever before. A girl born in Australia today can expect to live for about 84 years, but a girl born in the late 1800s was expected to live for just 54 years.

We owe this improvement to better food, advances in medicine and having more money. Fewer babies and young children die, and our work and lives are far safer than they used to be.

What can be done to extend your life? Let’s start with the things you can control yourself.

First: watch your diet and weight. The Mediterranean area of Europe is home to lots of people who are more than 100 years old. Most people there eat healthy diets that are high in fruits, vegetables, nuts and healthy fats such as olive oil. Also, don’t smoke or drink too much alcohol when you are older.

Next: study. Educated people live longer. They are more likely to have better jobs and make healthier lifestyle choices. Be friendly. Strong social networks help support us; helping other people may help us better look after ourselves.

Exercise is good. Light physical activity every day leads to less disability in old age and a longer, healthier life. Stand instead of sitting. Sitting for long periods when studying, working and watching television is unhealthy, so try to spend some time doing these things on your feet.

For more on this and 41 other inventions of the future, check out our book, Imagining the Future: Invisibility, Immortality and 40 Other Incredible Ideas, by Simon Torok and Paul Holper (CSIRO Publishing),

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