30.12.09

How increasing average life expectancy will change our culture

Is 40 really the new 30?

The average life expectancy in America has been increasing at a steady rate for much of the past century. As average life expectancy continues to rise and people continue to live longer, it is natural to question how this will impact our society and personal lives. Some people say that 40 is the new 30 but is there any truth to this?

Biological Age is Your "Real Age"

As average life expectancy increases, the importance of biological age as compared to chronological age will increase. Chronological age is the number of years a person has been alive. Biological age can be defined as your virtual age so to speak.

For example, there are 65 year old people who are physically in as good condition as an average 35 year old person. Conversely, there are people in their 20's that are in the same overall condition as an average person in their 40's. Many scientists look at a person's biological age as a more accurate reflection of an individual's true physical state of being.

Traditional View of Aging is Changing

As average life expectancy continues to grow and people live longer, how chronologically old a person is will matter much less. Eventually, the traditional concepts of youth, middle age, and old age will have to be reevaluated and in reality this process has already begun.

Being in your 30's, 40's, or 50's in the new millennium is not the same as it was half a century ago. Back in the 1950's or 60's, the majority of 40 year olds were already married and raising children.

Today with a greater average life expectancy, many 40 year olds are not married and many have delayed having children in order to pursue other interests such as career advancement, traveling, etc. It is amazing when we consider that many centuries ago; most people didn't live much past the age of 40.

Advancements in Science and Medicine

Improving medical technology and public health awareness are helping to increase the average life expectancy. Exercise, a healthy diet, and maintaining a positive attitude are the most important things you can do to add more quality years to your life. Average life expectancy will continue its rise into the foreseeable future and our culture will continue to change and evolve with it.

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