How long might you expect to live?
There's no sure way to know, of course. But there are things that affect our longevity in negative and positive ways, and getting in touch with those things can focus your life in healthy ways.
Genetics? Sure. That's undeniable. Lifestyle? Undeniably.
The Living to 100 life expectancy calculator takes about 10 minutes to complete and gives you an idea of your strengths and weaknesses as far as healthy aging goes. It has been featured in Time, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today and others.
The calculator begins with your birthdate and ZIP code. It proceeds through pages of questions titled "Personal" (marital status, stress, sleep, level of education), "Lifestyle" (caffeine intake, pollution where you live, smoking, drinking, flossing your teeth, etc), "Nutrition" (weight, diet, exercise) "Medical" (blood pressure, cholesterol, etc) "Family" (family history). You click your answers to each question and then click "Calculate My Age."
That's a scary moment! Even though it's a computer model based on scientific information, it's incredibly personal when a number pops up at the end.
The site also gives you information on how certain behaviors add years to your calculation. And you can sign up for an email reminder to take the test in another year and see how you're doing.
My results? I'm 50, and my test said 87. That's pretty positive, I realize, but there's a lot I should be doing that I'm not -- exercising regularly, eating better, and using sunscreen. The calculation definitely is a morale-builder. Let's see how high I can get the number a year from now!
What's your number? Will you work on getting it higher in the next year?
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