Tag Archives: longevity

Life Expectancy Calculators: How Long Will You Live

Life Expectancy CalculatorsAccording to the 2010 census, there were 53,364 people in the United States who were at least 100 years old.

That means that, in the U.S., roughly 1 person in every 6,000 celebrates a 100th birthday.

Fifty years ago, only 1 person in every 67,000 reached the century mark. So the trends are clear.

How ‘bout you? Would you like to be a centenarian?

Even if you have no particular desire to live to 100, do you ever wonder how long you will live?

It turns out that there are quite a few life expectancy calculators online. Some are run by reputable authorities on longevity.

Of course, even legitimate scientifically-based life expectancy calculators can only estimate your likely life expectancy. Sorry, no guarantees.

These 3 life expectancy calculators are a good place to start your search for your life expectancy . . .

Social Security Administration Life Expectancy Tables

The Social Security Administration collects information about life expectancies to help beneficiaries decide the best age to begin collecting Social Security benefits.

At the Social Security website, there is a simple life expectancy calculator.

To use the SSA calculator, you simply enter your gender and date of birth and, presto, the calculator spits out your statistical life expectancy.

For example, if you are a 35-year-old male who was born on August 21, 1976, your life expectancy, according to United States Government Life Expectancy Tables, is another 45.6 years, to age 81.4. If you are a 26-year-old female who was born on February 25, 1985, you are likely to live to the age of 85.0, another 57.7 years.

The Social Security Administration life expectancy calculator is a good place to start calculating your longevity. But that calculator does not take into account a wide number of factors that could increase or decrease life expectancy, such as current health, lifestyle, and family history.

Living To 100 Life Expectancy Calculator

Living To 100 is a website created by Thomas Perls, M.D., MPH, FACP, who is the founder and director of the New England Centenarian Study, the largest study of centenarians and their families in the world. (You can learn more about the study here.)

The Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator poses 40 questions about your health and family history. Plan on spending about 10 minutes completing the questionnaire.

Based on your responses, using the most current and carefully researched medical and scientific data, the Calculator gives your life expectancy as well as personalized feedback for each of your answers.

It also provides a list of things you can do differently and how many years you will add if you do.

Virtual Age And Life Expectancy Calculator

This Life Expectancy Calculator is also a “virtual age” calculator. Your “virtual age” is your chronological age adjusted for longevity factors such as family history, current health and lifestyle choices.

You start by entering your actual age and then, as you answer a series of questions, the Calculator simultaneously displays both your virtual age and your life expectancy. This calculator lacks the authority of the other two, but it is pretty cool stuff.

The valuable information to take from these calculators is this list of the main factors that affect your longevity . . .

  • Family history, especially for cancer and heart disease.
  • Exercise frequency, duration and intensity.
  • Diet.
  • Height, weight and body composition.
  • Cholesterol level.
  • Blood sugar level.
  • Blood pressure.
  • Stress.
  • Sleep.
  • Relationship status.
  • Attitude about aging.
  • Number and closeness of friends.
  • Smoking.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • Regular medical checkups.
  • Time spent working.
  • Whether your work is physical or sedentary.
  • Educational level.
  • Miles driven each year.
  • Seatbelt use.
  • Safe sex practices.
  • Eating breakfast.
  • Pets.
  • Religiosity.

  • Flossing!

(These factors are not necessarily listed in order, although the first factor listed, family history, is believed to be somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 responsible for your longevity. So, I hope you chose the right parents.)

Which Affects Longevity More, Fitness Or Fatness?

For longevity, fit trumps fatTo live a long life, which do you think is more important, keeping your weight down or your fitness up?

According to a recent study that was done at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health and published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, fit trumps fat as far as longevity is concerned.

In the study, those who maintained or improved their fitness level were less likely to die from heart attack or stroke, or anything else for that matter, than those whose fitness level dropped over time. And that was true even if their weight increased.

Stated from the other point of view, participants whose fitness declined were more likely to die than those whose weight increased over time.

According to fitness experts, such as the World’s Greatest Personal Trainer, my wife Kathie Lamir, there are 7 components of fitness.

This study focused on the fitness component of cardiorespiratory endurance.

cardiorespiratory enduranceTo measure endurance, the scientists gave each participant a series of treadmill tests over the course of the study.

In addition to the overall fitness-is-more-important-than-fatness conclusion, the doctors learned something else that is very important.

Every little bit helps!

That is, each increase in endurance level resulted in a lower risk of death.

Conversely, the men who grew less fit were more likely to die from any cause.

The new findings validate previous studies on the health benefits of fitness, says American Heart Association spokesman Richard Stein, M.D. He is the director of the Urban Community Cardiology Program at the New York University School of Medicine. “Fitness is a much greater predictor of [death] than weight,” Stein says.

“If you have been struggling with your weight for years, putting your work into endurance fitness is clearly a very powerful predictor of living longer,” he says.

Here”s the point: For many, increased endurance is not only an easier goal to attain than weight loss but is also pays greater dividends.

For longevity, fitness trumps fatnessThe test subjects were all average weight at the outset of the study. Therefore, without further testing, the doctors are not sure whether the results apply to obese people, too.

What about naturally thin people?

As for them, Dr. Stein says, “don’t fool yourself into thinking, ‘I am skinny and will be fine if I don’t do any exercise.’ You won’t be. Being [inactive] is not OK, even if you are skinny.”

As is often the case when I report on health studies, the takeaway is that, for a long and healthy life, you must stay active and maintain or increase your fitness level over time.

Study Says Only 15 Minutes of Exercise Each Day Can Add 3 Years To Your Life

Exercise at least 15 minutes a dayThis blog exists to put more years in your life and more life in your years.

One of the best things you can do to achieve those twin goals is free and doesn’t take long, although you will get sweaty (and no, I’m not talking about that!).

It’s exercise. There is overwhelming evidence that increasing physical activity leads to improvements in your health, mood and over-all well-being.

But how much exercise do you need to receive the benefits?

The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, plus two additional strength-training sessions.

The UK government also recommends that adults get 150 minutes of activity a week.

Exercise at least 15 minutes a dayNow, however, there is evidence that even less exercise than that – as little as 15 minutes per day or about 90 minutes a week – will give you significant health benefits.

A recently-published study, done in Taiwan, involved following more than 400,000 people for an average of 8 years. Based on their self-reports of their weekly exercise, the study participants were placed in one of these five categories: inactive, low, medium, high or very high activity.

Those in the inactive group were couch potatoes who did virtually no exercise. The low activity group exercised an average of 92 minutes a week. Each group above that exercised progressively more each week.

Here comes the good part . . .

Compared to those in the inactive group, those in the low-activity group were 14 percent less likely to die from any cause, 10 percent less likely to die of cancer, and had a three-year longer life expectancy, on average.

And there’s even more good news . . .

Each additional 15 minutes of daily exercise (up to 100 minutes a day) reduced the risk of death by an additional 4%, and people who got 30 minutes of activity a day added about four extra years to their life expectancy, when compared with their sedentary peers.

These findings were the same in men and women and in all age groups. They even apply to people with cardiovascular disease risks.

“You can get good gains with relatively small amounts of physical activity. More is always better, but less is a good place to start”

Professor Stuart Biddle, an expert in exercise psychology at Loughborough University

How vigorously do you have to exercise? Well, you don’t have to throw around heavy weights or run until your tongue hangs out. You can do that if you want, but you will get the health benefits from such moderate exercise as biking, walking briskly or dancing.

There is no upper age limit. This applies to everyone. If you don’t believe me, read this post about a study of weight training by seniors.

Exercise at least 15 minutes a dayConvinced? Do you plan to get off the couch for at least 15 minutes a day and get moving to add bounce to your step and years to your life?

If you still don’t “get it,” let me tell you about even more new research.

A study done in Australia on health risks linked to TV viewing suggests that too much time sitting in front of the box can shorten your life expectancy. In fact, the study showed that watching television for 6 hours a day can shorten your life by 5 years!

The scientists who conducted this study do not know why this is the case, and it may simply be because viewers who watch a lot of telly do little or no exercise.

These new studies were summed up by England’s Chief Medical Officer, Sally Davies, who said: “Physical activity offers huge benefits and these studies back what we already know – that doing a little bit of physical activity each day brings health benefits and a sedentary lifestyle carries additional risks.”

Studies Prove Volunteers Live Longer

Volunteers live longer!

This is one of the findings of a research study called “The Health Benefits of Volunteering” which was done in 2007 by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

According to the study, a growing body of research indicates that volunteering provides not just social benefits, but also individual health benefits for the volunteers.

These are some of the study’s most compelling conclusions . . .

    1.  The health benefits are greater for older volunteers (over 60) than for younger volunteers.

    2.  Benefits include improved physical and mental health and greater life satisfaction.

    3. There is a “volunteering threshold” for health benefits. That is to say, a minimum amount of volunteering is required to derive health benefits from the volunteer activities.  Interestingly, however, once that threshold is met, no additional health benefits result from volunteering more. (The definition of considerable volunteering has been variously defined by these studies as 1) volunteering with two or more organizations; 2) 100 hours or more of volunteer activities per year; and 3) at least 40 hours of volunteering per year.)

    4. When patients with chronic or serious illness volunteer, they receive benefits beyond what can be achieved through medical care.  That’s stunning!

    5. Volunteers have lower rates of depression.

The evidence is clear.  Volunteers live longer and more healthy lives.

You can read the study here.