When many people think about the Amish, they think about all of the things that they live without. However, Amish people actually live longer than the general population. In the year 1900, the life expectancy for an American was only 47. However, the Amish people were already living to be 70.
The American life expectancy has increased over the past couple decades. However, the Amish are still outliving the general population. They have much lower rates of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Many people wonder why the Amish outlive the general population. The Amish are more active than the general population. The American College of Sports Medicine did a study that involved Amish people. They were fitted with a pedometer. The results showed that the average man took 18,425 steps per day. The average woman took 14, 196 steps.
Health and fitness experts recommend that people take 10,000 steps or more per day. Most people fall short of meeting this goal. The Amish do a lot of manual labor such as planting, chopping and lifting.
Only 4 percent of Amish people are obese. Over 36 percent of the general population is obese. Amish people are also 50 percent less likely to have diabetes. Most Amish people do not smoke. That is why Amish people are 40 percent less likely to have cancer.
Genetics may also explain why the Amish are so much healthier. The Amish have a tendency to marry within their own community. If the communities do not have any genetic problems, then their children will not have any genetic problems.
A team of researchers have also shown that many Amish people have the PAL-I. People who have this gene live 10 percent longer than people without it. This gene helps people age slower. People with this gene have a tendency to have better insulin levels and blood pressures.