Startling figures reveal that the life expectancy in the US is on the decline, which is a major cause for concern. At the moment people’s life expectancy is 76 years, but depending on your lifestyle you can live beyond that, or die a lot sooner.
The culprits, according to recent studies, for the decrease in life expectancy include:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Kidney disease
- Chronic lower respiratory disease
- Accidents or Unintentional Injuries
Cancer, flu and even arthritis are also responsible for premature deaths. While rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis aren’t the direct cause, some of the medications to treat it work by suppressing the immune system, which leaves patients at risk of other infections, like pneumonia.
We’ve put a quick test together to work out what your current life expectancy is, based on your lifestyle choices. The results might be scary, but at least you have a chance to make the necessary changes, for the better.
Go through each of the questions below, answering as honestly as you, making sure to add or subtract. Because 76 is the average life expectancy that will be the number we start with.
Age – if you’re between 30 and 39 add two years; 40 to 49 add 3; 50 to 69 add 4, and 70 or older add 5.
Gender – on average women live longer than men, so if you’re a woman add three years and if you’re a man subtract 3.
Family History – if one of your grandparents died from a heart attack or stroke before 50 subtract 4; if they reached 80 add 6 and if any reached 85 you need to add 2.
Diet – your diet has a huge influence on your overall health. If you follow a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fish and grass-fed beef add 2.
Exercise – a sedentary lifestyle is slowly killing us all, however, if you exercise at least three times a week add 3 to the total you have so far. If not, subtract 3.
Blood Pressure – add one year if you know what your blood pressure is.
Weight – if you’re overweight by 50 or more pounds subtract 8 years; 30 to 40 pounds subtract 4 and if you need to lose between 10 and 29 pounds then subtract 2.
Smoking – anyone that smokes more than two packs a day needs to take 8 off of their current total; if you’re on one to two packs subtract 6 and if you’re a half a pack to one a day subtract 4.
Drinking – Drinking alcohol isn’t going to kill you, but drinking too much can. If you have more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day subtract 2. For each additional drink day subtract 2 more.
Working or Retired – if you are still working and are 65 or older add 3 years.
Relaxation – If your attitude towards life is relaxed add 3 years to the number you have. If you’re anxious, driven or aggressive subtract 3 and if you think of yourself as being unhappy to subtract another year.
So what’s your total? Are you pleasantly surprised or distraught? If it’s the latter, it’s not too late. Looking at the categories determine what you need to work on and change. Do you need more exercise and eat better? Some are no-brainers, like smoking, but the others can be tweaked here and there to make sure you’re not a statistic.
By making the necessary changes, you can increase your life expectancy and live well.
Another reason people are dying sooner is due to a recently coined condition known as “Sitting Disease.” Recent studies show that sitting for long periods of time is linked to various health concerns such as metabolic syndrome and obesity. A sedentary lifestyle also seems to increase the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Results from a study showed adults who spend four hours or more in front of a screen for recreation – be it a TV, laptop, iPad, or tablet – compared to those who spend less than two hours a day glued to a screen were at more risk with:
- Almost a 50% increased risk of death from any cause
- Around a 125% increased risk of heart attacks or anginas
What is especially scary is that these are over and above other risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure or smoking.
Our sedentary lifestyles are slowly killing us. The next stage of evolution will have a chair attached to our rear ends. Our days are filled with physical inactivity and far too much sitting which is killing us by contributing to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Our bodies were made for physical activity – we would hunt for our food and gather fruit and vegetables, but nowadays we don’t even walk around shops or malls – we go online and do our banking, we socialize with friends, bank, and even work, without having to get out of a chair. Pregnant women are experiencing more severe morning sickness symptoms, which can also be put down to sitting disease.
We go from one chair to the next all day long, starting at the breakfast table to the car seat and then onto the chair at the office. We sit at our desk and eat our lunch, finish up and get back in the car to get back to the house, to sit at the dinner table and then flop onto the sofa.
Spending so much time doing nothing is becoming the death of us: our metabolism shuts down, and fat-burning enzymes switch off. Over time their effectiveness drops up to 50%. The good news is this can be reversed, even with a minimal amount of exercise. You can kick everything back into gear by moving around for just a few minutes.
While the choices we make can negatively impact our quality, and quantity, of life, making the smallest changes towards a Glozine lifestyle can make a huge difference, so get up out of the chair and go for a brisk walk around the block. That’s already a move in the direction.