The key to happiness in life in your 70s is sex once a fortnight

Want to be happy in your 70s? Have sex once a fortnight, researchers say

  • Study assessed 65 year olds wellbeing compared to their bedroom activity
  • Women prefer kissing and touching, and men are happy with sex twice a month 
  • Experts attribute the joy to endorphins, similar to exercise, which feels ‘bliss’ 
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If you are looking for the secret to a happy retirement, cancel the tickets for that world cruise.

The key to contentment in later life may be as simple as having sex every fortnight.

Life is significantly more enjoyable if you have an active love life, according to a study of almost 7,000 people with an average age of 65.

For men, having sex at least twice a month can lead to happiness, while women are more interested in kissing and the emotional closeness of sleeping with their husband or partner.

The key to contentment in later life may be as simple as having sex every fortnight, a study on almost 7,000 people roughly age 65 by Anglia Ruskin University, London, found

Researchers led by Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge found older people were far happier if they had made love in the last 12 months, which could be down to feelings of post-coital ‘bliss’ or the benefits of the exercise involved.

Lead author Dr Lee Smith, an exercise expert at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, said: ‘There is a misconception that older people are not interested in sex, but it is important and can reduce their risk of heart problems and early death. We found sex can improve people’s enjoyment of life.

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‘The findings suggest it is the tenderness and closeness which is more important to women than the sex itself. It is the foreplay and the intimacy driving their enjoyment of life, whereas men seem to want to have sex at least twice a month.’


Loss of libido is a reduced sex drive.

Past research suggests it affects nearly half of all women at some point in their lives.

It is often linked to relationship issues, stress or tiredness, but could also indicate an underlying health problem.

Sex drives vary person-to-person with no libido being ‘normal’, however, if it is affecting your relationship, it may be worth seeking help from a GP or psychosexual therapist.

Common causes:

  • Relationship problems – such as becoming overly familiar with your partner,  poor communication or trust issues
  • Sexual problems – including erectile dysfunction or vaginal dryness
  • Stress, anxiety or depression
  • Age – sex hormones fall during the menopause. Low libido can also occur due to the side effects of medication or mobility problems
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding – can cause changes in hormone levels, exhaustion or altered priorities as people focus on their child
  • Underlying health issues – such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes 
  • Medication – including antidepressants and drugs for high blood pressure
  • Alcohol and drugs 

Source: NHS Choices 

The research is based on questionnaires given to 6,879 people over the age of 50 about their sex lives over the past year.

Their contentment was measured based on how strongly they agreed with statements such as ‘I enjoy the things that I do’ and ‘On balance, I look back on my life with a sense of happiness’.

The results show men enjoy their lives less when they are worried about their loss of libido or that they are not having sex enough.

Unlike men, women are not less happy when they are having less sex, but their contentment is increased by feelings of emotional closeness which come from sex, as well as kissing and being touched.

The study, published in the journal Sexual Medicine, states: ‘During sexual activity or at the time sexual intercourse is at its peak, there is a release of endorphins, which generates a happy or blissful feeling after sex.

‘Moreover, those who engage in sexual intercourse with their partner are likely to share a closer relationship, and indeed closeness to one’s partner has been shown to be associated with wellbeing.’

Experts also suggest that sex may produce the same physical and psychological benefits as other types of exercise.

People do have less sex from their fifties onwards, as previous studies have shown, but co-author Dr Sarah Jackson, from University College London, said: ‘If encouraging and supporting people to continue to enjoy a healthy sex life in old age could help to boost wellbeing, there may be benefits both for the individual and for the sustainability of health services.’ 

In a new phenomenon of dating apps, however, the number of old people being diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections is at an all-time high.

The number of diagnoses in over-65s in England rose 14 per cent from 1,411 in 2016 to 1,608 in 2017. 

Being able to switch sexual partners quickly and meet strangers on the internet means people are more likely to spread infections before they get diagnosed, experts have warned. 


Scientists have unveiled diet and lifestyle tips that maintain brain health in old age. 

According to researchers from around the world ‘what’s good for the heart is good for the brain’.

They add that no single food acts as a ‘silver bullet’ for improving or maintaining brain health.

The experts have put together the following diet and lifestyle advice to help people preserve their brain health as they age.

Eating plenty of berries helps maintain people’s brain health as they get older

Eat plenty of:

  • Berries
  • Fresh vegetables, particularly leafy greens
  • Healthy fats, such as extra-virgin olive oil
  • Nuts
  • Fish and seafood

Include the following in your diet:

  • Beans and other legumes
  • Fruit
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Poultry
  • Grains

Red meat consumption should be limited

Limit intakes of:

  • Fried food
  • Pastries
  • Processed foods
  • Red meat
  • Full-fat dairy
  • Salt

Other tips:

  • Stay active
  • Avoid overeating
  • Eat at least one meal a week with fish that is not deep fried
  • Watch out for salt levels in pre-made food
  • Use lemon, vinegar, herbs and spices to flavour food over salt
  • Snack on raw, plain, unsalted nuts
  • Eat vegetables with a range of different colours
  • Prepare meals from scratch 

Eleven researchers from the Global Council on Brain Health, including experts from the University of Exeter, met on September 12-to-13 2017 to discuss the impact of diet on the brain health of adults over 50. 

Their recommendations are based on the evaluation of studies investigating the impact of nutrients on the cognitive function of older adults. 

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