This is an interesting question, that we all ponder upon at least once in our lifetime. I remember as a kid when there was a website called "death time calculator" or something on these lines. Though the algorithm of it was unknown, there was extensive talk around the same.
Even in recent times, FaceApp — the app used to generate an image of you as an older person — garnered a lot of attention. It was only when inconsistencies around the app surfaced, people stopped using the app. But until then, most celebrities had used the app to share photos of their (possible) older self.
All in all, this question is an interesting one. How long will I live? Especially with the uncertainty that life is surrounded with, the question becomes even more intriguing.
Till date, the record for being the longest living human stands at 122 years and 164 days — French Jeanne Calment who passed away on August 4th, 1997. Since then, no one has actually crossed the 120 mark.
But the new study published in Nature suggests that people can live up to 150 years. Interesting, isn't it? The researchers associated with the study looked at the data from NHANES surveys ranging from the year 1999–2014.
For the purpose of the study, the researchers analysed 5000 people every year, to understand the longevity of their life. The scientists also investigated a dataset of complete blood counts. Simply put, they studied the number of blood cells as well as certain markers such as haemoglobin and more.
They tried to understand through these various metrics, how and what changes with age and how it affects our body and lifespan. And understandably, after years of generating results, the system became adept at predicting chronic age-related diseases.
That’s it, then, 150 years!
According to the author, "The proximity of the critical point revealed in this work indicates that the apparent human lifespan limit is not likely to be improved by therapies aimed against specific chronic diseases or frailty syndrome."
"Thus, no dramatic improvement of the maximum lifespan and hence strong life extension is possible by preventing or curing diseases. We do not foresee any laws of nature prohibiting such an intervention. Therefore, further development of the ageing model presented in this work may be a step toward experimental demonstration of a dramatic life-extending therapy."
This simply means that, when we think about how long will be live, it is important to consider ageing as the problem, and not the diseases and lifestyle issues, that often are the reason for death.
However, the study is aimed at bettering how our body adjusts to ageing and develops resilience against it.
So how do we improve longevity?
Now that we understand that age-related issues and lifestyle problems are a symptom of what is happening inside our body. We must try and keep our body's functioning as good as possible for long life.
Of course, it goes without saying that causing harm to your body through external factors such as smoking, drinking or intoxication by drugs should be avoided. It is also important to look into the wear and tear of the body by taking regular efforts to keep our body fit.
Exercise: We know that exercising is not only beneficial for maintaining an optimum weight. However, exercising is an effective way to keep your muscles and joints from becoming stiff. Which is a common phenomenon especially as you age.
Let us understand this by taking a look at how we progress in life. As a child, most of us are always active, running around for most hours of the day. This keeps our muscles, bones, joints and even breathing on their toes to support the kind of energy we demand from our body. But as we age, enter school, college or jobs the amount of activity goes down. The energy demand also goes down. Which as a result why we feel tired on most days.
However, if we continue to expect that level of energy that we did as a kid, our body will learn to support the demands and help maintain the function of our muscles, bones and even our heart.
Mental Wellness: Another important aspect of keeping our body healthy is the importance of maintaining our mental health. Most of our bad lifestyle choices stem from situations or problems that are stressing us out. This leads us to drink or smoke or even indulging in other forms of recreational drugs. However, it is important to deal with the stressors appropriately to understand better how we can avoid intoxication.
How long will we live is a question many would like to get answered. Though that answer might not be in our hand, what is to take care of both our mind and body equally. Paying attention and taking proper measures to keep our body fit is important and an essential step in improving our overall life.