COLCHESTER, England, July 7 (UPI) -- The key ingredients for looking younger and living longer are staying active and maintaining a good sex life, a British expert says.
Dr. David Weeks, a consultant clinical psychologist and former head of Old Age Psychology at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, said society should have a more favorable attitude toward sexual activity in older people because of its many benefits.
Weeks presented a paper drawing on his 38 years of clinical practice and research.
"When people contemplate aging their thinking is driven with negative stereotypes and ageist myths -- those who are most prejudiced against older people know them least. And misconceptions of this kind generate irrational prohibitive feelings, making sexual experiences less enjoyable for both partners within a relationship," Weeks said in a statement.
"Yet the quality of sexual expression maintained in older adults is a predictor of good general health and well-being. In a Welsh heart disease study from 1997, the mortality risk was 50 percent lower in the group of men with high orgasmic frequency -- twice a week or more -- than in the group with low frequency."
Weeks also discussed research on people who looked and felt significantly younger than their chronological age, to the health, longevity and especially the sex lives of the general population.
The paper was presented at a conference of the British Psychological Society in Colchester, England.