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People who are positive about ageing live extra eight years

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People who are positive about ageing live extra eight years

People with a positive outlook about getting older live an average of nearly eight years longer than those with negative views.

They key age seems to be about 50: if you have a positive view about ageing around then, you probably will live a long and healthy old age.

Or, as researchers from Oregon State University put it, you’re much more likely to become the healthy, engaged older person that you imagined you would be. “How we think about who we’re going to be in old age is very predictive of exactly how we will be, “said Shelbie Turner, one of the researchers.

They put a range of positive and negative expressions about getting old to a group, who were asked just how strongly they agreed, or disagreed, with the statements.

These views aren’t harmless. Even seemingly innocuous comments such as “another senior moment” when something is forgotten can do real harm. “People need to realise that some of the negative health consequences in later life might not be biologically driven. The mind and the body are interwoven”, said Karen Hooker, another researcher.

(Source: International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 2020; 009141502098)

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Article Topics: Ageing, aging, death, Gerontology, Old age
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