When does middle age and old age really begin?
When does middle age really begin and when does old age begin? In general, it can be said that the answer to this question depends on the culture in which one lives.
In 2018, half a million people filled out an online questionnaire on the topic, and participants, many between the ages of 20 and 30, said on average that middle age began at 40, and old age (old age) at 62. On the contrary, those over 65 thought that old age does not begin before the age of 71.
Obviously, the answers often vary according to the age of the person being asked. No one likes to think of themselves as an old person. When we're 40, we like to think that 40 is the new 30, and likewise, people in their 70s who are still in good shape never want to be labeled 'old people'.
We also tend to want to disassociate ourselves from any stigmatized group. This means that we resist being labeled as old, when we see the elderly portrayed as weak, sick, inactive and even a burden on society.
In 2003, researchers Hannah Kuper and Sir Michael Marmot conducted a large-scale study in which participants were again asked the question: when does old age begin? The answers obviously varied, but what Cooper and Marmot found was that those people who thought aging started earlier were more likely to have had a heart attack, suffer from heart disease, or be in generally poor physical health. .
The participants in this study were taking part in the so-called Whitehall II, a study of over 10,000 civil servants working in London.
The answer to the simple question of when old age begins actually provides much more information about a person than one might think. In fact, this question can lead people to think about their physical health and, if they have problems, they may not feel so well and think that old age will come sooner.
People who say that aging starts at an earlier age may also be more fatalistic and less inclined to seek help for health, or adopt healthier routines, believing that decline is inevitable.
Likewise, people who think aging starts later in life may be more aware of their health and fitness and therefore take active steps to stay in good shape. They think they are younger and therefore act as if they are and this creates well-being.
Another study found that people who had positive ideas about their aging lived an average of 22.6 years after participating in the study, while people who felt less positive about aging lived an average of only 15 years longer.
So the later middle age and old age come to you, the longer you will live.