A new National Geographic and AARP study, “The Second Half of Life Study,” reveals some surprising things about aging. The goal of the study was to see how Americans perceive aging, now that we are emerging from the pandemic.
The study covered a range of topics. For example, the survey asked whether you would take a pill that would give you 10 bonus years of life. Across all age ranges, about 75 percent of respondents said they would take this pill – however, interestingly, those aged 80-plus were the least interested in this proposition.
Another interesting finding? Often we look at health as either you’re healthy and unhealthy. But it turns out many people in their 50s with a serious or chronic health condition consider their health as good, very good or excellent. It appears they consider themselves healthy but with conditions. A professor in geriatrics says that this is a sign of resilience; that these adults are reframing their health and making the best of their health status. Their outlook when it comes to their health is multidimensional rather than healthy versus not healthy.
Also, despite the notion that older adults are less active, many are taking the steps they need to in order to maintain their good health, compared to the younger generations. They’re walking as a way to socialize, for example, and are exercising at home, and they’re following a healthy diet (one that limits fried foods, and taking vitamin supplements.
You can learn more about some of the surprising findings on the AARP site here, which reveals that today’s older generations breaking stereotypes and are redefining healthy aging.