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HomeLifestyleNew Study Says the Age at Which You’re Old Has Changed

New Study Says the Age at Which You’re Old Has Changed

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At what age do you consider yourself old? Well, as the saying goes, age is just a number. While the saying holds, what makes us old is what we eat, our lifestyle, and our mind. A recent study by the American Psychological Association seems to agree with the latter.

A picture of an ageing hand
Source: Pinterest

The study says that middle-aged and old-aged adults do not consider themselves old until later in life. Before this study, many started considering themselves old at about 40. However, the age at which most see themselves as old started changing over time. 

As a result, the definition of old in their books has gotten older. During the study, researchers looked at information from a German Ageing Survey, which collected data from over 14,000 participants. The researchers compared the data of the older participants to that of the younger ones and made a groundbreaking discovery. 

They discovered that the younger participants didn’t consider themselves old until much later. According to reports, the survey covered those born between 1911 and 1974. The survey discovered that people in their mid-60s define old age as starting at 75.

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However, the survey revealed those same people, about a decade ago, defined old age as starting at 71. On the other hand, participants born in 1956 said old age begins at 74 when they were 65. Furthermore, the study found that the trend of a later perceived old age is due to the changes in life expectancy and later retirement ages.

If there’s one thing the study echoes, it is that old age is a construct of the mind. Researchers found that our perception of old age changes as we grow older. As participants in the study aged, they kept pushing the idea of old age further.

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However, the research figured that the participants’ perceived old age increased by a year for every four to five years of aging. Furthermore, the study noted that the numbers varied depending on gender, general health, and mental state.

According to the study, old age starts about two years later for women than men. Unfortunately, the reverse is the case for unhappy and lonely people. The study states that these people tend to feel older early and consider themselves old earlier than those happy and in better health.

The study author, Dr. Markus Wettstein, noted that the increase in life expectancy might have contributed to the shift. However, we may also attribute the change to the increased attention fitness has gotten over the years.

ALSO READ: The Pros and Cons of Eating a High-Protein Diet

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People are now paying more attention to their overall body fitness, health, and well-being than ever. Hence, what started as a Gen Z obsession now has a cult following across all ages. There has also been an increase in weight loss diets. 

Everyone practices one, from the keto diet to the Mediterranean, intermittent fasting, and vegan and paleo diets. Notably, studies have proved that these diets, coupled with physical activities like yoga, boost the release of happy hormones. As a result, people feel happy and younger, shifting their perspective on old age.

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