Project Body Smart | Is 70 the New 65?
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Is 70 the New 65?

British Statistics Suggest It Is

How old is old?

The number just edged five years higher, according to information from the British government based on lengthening life expectancy.

People are living longer and staying healthier. With more making it into their late 80s and beyond, my own mother is well into her 80s and very active. We should reconsider how we define “old age,” the Office of National Statistics suggests. It says that the common standard has been 65 but it should be 70 now.

Why does it matter when “old age” begins? The ONS says it’s the point at which we have 15 more years of life expectancy.

So, let’s consider what lies ahead instead of thinking about what chronologically “old” people are supposed to do and look like. Let’s defy that “Old” stereotype by keeping fit and healthy.

That gibes perfectly with the “fitness over 50” revolution. Most people can have the strength, endurance and flexibility to remain independent and live their best lives longer through regular exercise and healthy living.

One researcher told the BBC: “People at age 70 now have the same life expectancy and similar health to people aged 65 in the past so, on average, we are definitely seeing people doing better than they did in the past.”

It’s interesting to take a look back – and forward – at these trends. The report says that in 1911, the average man reached “old age” (having 15 years left) at age 57, and the average woman at 60. Now it’s 70 and 72.

By the year 2066? The average will be 75 for men and 77 for women.

That’s all the more reason to build a culture of healthy aging, one life at a time.

Gordon Palmer, Fitness Coordinator, Global Fitness and Racquet Centre, Kelowna, BC Canada.

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