By Gwen Dawkins
Do you want to know your lifespan?
I’ve always had the idea that I will live past 100. It’s mainly just a feeling, but I do have good genes on one side of my family: my maternal grandparents lived to 96 and 98. Likewise, my great-grandparents lived into their 90s. On my father’s side, lifespans ranged from the early 60s to 80s, which to my mind can be mainly attributed to lifestyle choices.
But having a feeling is one thing, and knowing the probability based on real-life factors is another. Did you know there are several lifespan calculators that consider various factors to estimate your lifespan? They are interesting because you can see how different habits can affect your predicted lifespan. Once you see how something such as high cholesterol or bodyweight really impacts your health, you can choose to alter your eating habits with the hope of improving your longterm health. Or, you can accept it and go on living your life just as you have.
Here are some I’ve tried:
John Hancock Projected Life Expectancy A basic calculator that considers blood pressure, cholesterol, height, weight, smoking status, and even things like moving violations while driving (apparently tickets translate to risky behavior).
Northwestern Mutual Insurance Lifespan Calculator The cool thing with this one is that a ticker changes with each answer you enter. That means you can see how lifestyle adjustments, such as stopping smoking, for example, can add years to your lifespan.
Living To 100 Life Expectancy Calculator This one is more in-depth but only takes 10 minutes. It asks more than 40 interesting questions about many areas of your life like how many new friendships you made in the last year, types of stressors that affect you (such as community stress like racial unrest or wildfires; marital stress; ongoing conflict with a friend or relative; traffic jam stress; etc.) how many hours you sleep nightly, how often you play brain games such as chess or puzzles, and more. Plus you get a personalized “To Do” list to improve your health, and hopefully lifespan.
Healthy Life Expectancy Calculator This shares how many “healthy” years are ahead for you, in addition to total life expectancy. It also includes how many of those years are expected to be “unhealthy.”
As for me, my life expectancy numbers ranged from 92 to 100. It’s kind of fun for me, but I know part of that “fun” is knowing I got good scores. Like me, some people want to know this information, but others would rather live happily without a looming scorecard. How do you feel about this? Do you want to know your life expectancy? I’d love to read your responses.