How Can You Live Longer?

September 12, 2006 -- Posted at 7: 04 p.m. CDT

BLYTHEVILLE, AR -- What's the average lifespan for people across the country?  That question is answered in a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health.

For Arkansans, people live to be about 75-years-old, and it's the same in Missouri.

So, what can we do to try to prolong our lives?

"You watch what you eat, you can exercise, try living a half-way decent life," said James A. Smith.

At the Blytheville Senior Center, the average age of visitors is 65 to 70-years-old.

"For me and for everybody, it keeps you in shape, so you can really do things that you ordinarily don't get to do at the age you are," said William S. Tucker, 89.

Tucker said he gets a medical exam every three months, something that could be beneficial in the future.

"It's all about not curing what is already happened, but preventing any complications.  Things like better control of your blood pressure and better control of your diabetes," said Dr. Sunbal Zafar.

"For me this, belonging here, and using the exercise equipment helps me to walk and get around," said Tucker.

"As you age you need more activity, more exercise.  The senior center here provides good meals, exercise, and activities for us," said Carolyn Bonney.

The average life expectancy for people living in Mississippi County is 71 and seniors at the Blytheville Senior Center are trying to beat those odds.

Here is a breakdown of the statistics for Arkansas counties:

Benton          78.0

Faulkner        77.3

Baxter          77.0

Boone           76.9

Carroll         76.9

Washington      76.7

Marion          76.5

Searcy          76.5

Stone           76.5

Cleburne        76.4

Van Buren       76.4

Saline          76.4

Pope            76.1

Hot Spring      75.8

Franklin        75.7

Madison         75.7

Johnson         75.7

Newton          75.7

Sebastian       75.6

Clark           75.5

Logan           75.5

Craighead       75.3

Conway          75.2

Perry           75.2

Miller          75.2

Independence    75.2

White           75.1

Lonoke          75.0

Clay            75.0

Randolph        75.0

Howard          75.0

Pike            75.0

Fulton          74.9

Izard           74.9

Pulaski         74.8

Garland         74.8

Hempstead       74.7

Lafayette       74.7

Montgomery      74.7

Yell            74.7

Lawrence        74.6

Sharp           74.6

Crawford        74.6

Polk            74.5

Scott           74.5

Desha           74.4

Lincoln         74.4

Columbia        74.3

Little River    74.0

Sevier          74.0

Chicot          73.9

Drew            73.9

Dallas          73.6

Grant           73.6

Union           73.6

Greene          73.5

Arkansas        73.4

Bradley         73.3

Calhoun         73.3

Cleveland       73.3

Jefferson       73.2

Cross           73.2

Jackson         73.2

Lee             72.9

Monroe          72.9

Prairie         72.9

Woodruff        72.9

Nevada          72.6

Ouachita        72.6

Ashley          72.6

Poinsett        72.4

St. Francis     71.7

Mississippi     71.6

Crittenden      71.1

Phillips        69.8

There isn't a complete list of Missouri Counties, but we can tell you Missouri ranks number 38 on the list while Arkansas ranks number 43.