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
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.”
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.”