SUN CITY, Ariz. -- The Banner Sun Health Research Institute brought attention to a new study by honoring a few of the participants: 15 men and women all about 100 years old.
Researchers said the study, conducted with interviews of 1,100 people ages 80 and over, indicates that people achieve longevity in their lives because of genes, nutrition and diet, family and friends, positive attitude, exercise and an active lifestyle.
The study also found that volunteering and working later in life positively affected physical and mental wellbeing.
Banner held a Century Celebration to honor the oldest participants, as well as volunteers who conducted the surveys. At the event, most of the 15 centenarians were humble about their longevity as everyone asked the question: How have they lived for so long?
"That’s what I came to find out," Hope Siegrist, 101, said. "I thought they would tell me, and then I would know."
"There is no secret," 101-year-old Vernon Johnson said. "You live the life as best you can, and if it happens, it happens."
"It’s a good attitude," said Abraham Meth, who will turn 102 in June.
"I guess it’s the genes," said Gertrude McQuown, who turns 100 next month.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are more than 830 people age 100 and above living in Arizona, and that number should climb as life expectancy increases.