Article by Ceri Wheeldon
We are told that we are living for longer – but how much longer. How much can we influence how long we live for ? And how long do we actually want to live for?
If I look at the life expectancy tables on the Office of National Statistics website, based on where I live (the South East). I should expect to live to the age of 85. But this of does not take into account any lifestyle choices . Where we live, how much we exercise, how much alcohol we consume can all have an impact.
I came across a fun tool (strangely named a ‘death clock’) that lets you put in your age, and then prompts you to answer some simple lifestyle questions . It gives you the age you can expect to live to.
Adding an extra 13 years to life expectancy with lifestyle choices
When I input my age, gender and the region I lived in my projected life expectancy came out at 84, just one year less than the ONS figure. When I answered the questions honestly in respect to smoking, alcohol consumption, pet ownership, exercise, how much tea I drank , how often I saw the sea etc my life expectancy went up to 97! Then I decided to have a play – if I visit the seaside more often and get a cat (or even a hamster) my life expectancy goes up to 102! However, when I ticked the boxes for increased alcohol and smoking, adding in more takeaway meals and less exercise, it seems I should have died 8 years ago!
It’s a fun , interesting tool to play around with, and does show how small changes can have a big impact on longevity. Of course, it’s all a question of balance – and what you interests (and vices) happen to be, and whether or not you want to make small positive changes or some sacrifices.
It has certainly made me think about where I might choose to live in the future – perhaps I should revisit the dream of living in Cannes , taking a bichon (called Lulu) for daily walks along the Croisette – it might take me up to 105!
If you want to try the ‘death clock’ for yourself – here is the link. Do share your results with us !