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Study: Most of us are older than we think we are

"You're only as old as you feel" isn't always true

Photo © JenkoAtaman - Fotolia
One of the trending exercises on the Internet is taking tests to see how closely your biological age matches your “real” age.

Most people taking the test expect to find that they really aren't as old as their biological age, in terms for health, lifestyle and attitude.

InsideTracker, which operates the InnerAge platform that offers such a test, has some news for you: Most of us are actually older than our biological age.

The company's recent survey found 60% of users are an average of 3.13 years older in real terms than their chronological age. Yet most were clueless about this fact.

Seventy percent of people said they looked younger than their age and 61% said they feel younger than they are.

Surprising facts

The survey turned up some other surprising facts. When asked at what age would they like to remain forever, 3 times as many said 50 as chose 20. Only 17% of respondents thought someone 60 years old is old.

We are honest about our age, with only 1 in 5 people having lied about it. When people do lie, they are more likely to claim to be older.

And while respondents seem to be comfortable with aging on one hand, they go on diets and join gyms in a bid to look young. About 84% of people believe they can take steps to slow down the effects of aging.

"While people claim to look and feel younger than their years, scientific study after study show people are in fact more likely to be older than their chronological age," said Dr. Gil Blander, Chief Science Officer of InsideTracker. "That being said, our America's Attitudes to Aging study shows people are taking active roles to combat the impacts of aging and are embracing the prospect of their senior years.

50 is the new 30

Blander says today, 50 is the new 30, and people in their 60s are far from being considered old and they are enjoying life and expecting to lead healthy, active lives well into their 80s.

He's not alone in that assessment. In April Sergei Scherbov led a research team studying how people age. He concluded better health and longer life expectancy have turned ideas about what constitutes “old age” upside down.

"Age can be measured as the time already lived or it can be adjusted taking into account the time left to live,” Scherboy said. “If you don't consider people old just because they reached age 65 but instead take into account how long they have left to live, then the faster the increase in life expectancy, the less aging is actually going on."

Scherboy notes that 200 years ago, a person who reached age 60 was old. In fact, they had outlived their life expectancy.

"Someone who is 60 years old today, I would argue is middle-aged,” he says. "What we think of as old has changed over time, and it will need to continue changing in the future as people live longer, healthier lives."

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