Want to live till 100? just be positive

New research has revealed it’s

time to rethink

just who we’re calling old.


Chicken, a website which specialises in selling gadgets

designed to make life easier for older people, commissioned a study

which revealed only 5 per cent of people aged 65 to 92 consider

themselves old. On the contrary, the study reported the over-65s feel

up to 25 years younger than

they actually are, with 42 per cent saying

they felt now happier than they had ever felt before.

Nearly a third (28 per cent) said if they were given the chance to

pick their age, they would choose to remain the same age they are now,

and 22 per cent added their age has given them a sense of confidence

they previously did not have.

Age is just a number, it’s not a restriction nor a barrier

Gloria Hunniford

Respondents cited Dame’s Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Joan

Collinsand Sir Bruce

Forsyth as their celebrities rolemodels who are helping to defy

the stereotype of old age.

Expert on ageing and Chief Knowledge Officer to the NHSSir

Muir Gray argues that for even for those who do feel the impact of

ageing, being “old” is just a state of mind: “The

ageing process starts at around 30 but, for most people, it shouldn’t

become in a problem until they are in their 90s. However, due a

combination of factors, people can often being to feel old as early as 65.”

The factors Gray outlines that

are: ageing itself, loss of fitness,

disease and, most importantly, your attitude: “A negative outlook

on life, influenced by the negative, and often incorrect portrayal of

‘old age’ as a period of inevitable and irreversible decline, hastens

the onset of ill health, partly because people who adopt this attitude

make no attempt to stay healthy, let alone get healthier.”

He warns that society has an “overly pessimistic” view of

old age and internalising this negative attitude towards your own age

will only help you conform to negative stereotypes.

According to Gray, adopting a positive attitude is one of the most

important contributing factors to leading a long and healthy life:

“With the right outlook and lifestyle, you can still reduce your

risk of disease, minimise the effects of any condition that does

develop and remain a spring chicken until you are 90, or beyond.”

With life

expectancy rising with each generation, Gray predicts

that living to 100 will soon become more common: “Japan already

has a big issue with people living longer lives, but what is important

to distinguish is that people don’t just want to live ‘forever’,

people want to live well and die well.

“So instead of looking at this as increasing your life

expectancy, people should look at it as increasing your health span.”