While there’s no way to tell exactly how long you will live, scientists have already learned a lot about the factors that are most important to a long and healthy life.
“You don’t need a genetic test to find out what you need to be doing to be healthy… in terms of behaviours, we already know,” explained Thomas Perls, an attending geriatrician at Boston Medical Center and professor at the Boston University School of Medicine.
“Just look at what the Seventh-Day Adventists do,” he said, referring to an especially long-living group of people. “Be at a healthy weight… don’t smoke, exercise every day, and meditate, do yoga, or find another effective way to manage stress.” Strong social connections, he added, are also key.
Perls, who founded the largest study of centenarians in the world, created an online tool that uses much of what ageing scientists have learned to calculate your approximate life expectancy. The tool also asks questions about your seatbelt usage, your family’s medical history, your flossing habits, your work schedule, and more
At the end, after your approximate age of death is revealed, you’ll see suggestions about the behaviours you can change to add years to your life. Your genetics and family history matter — especially if you hope to live beyond 100 — but “how well you age is in your hands in terms of living to almost 90,” Perls said.
Try the Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator here, and remember that the result is an rough approximation based on the research, not an exact prediction.
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