At some point in our lives, whether out of the innocence of childhood or the fear of old age, we have thought that we want to live as long as possible. On paper, it all seems quite coherent, but if we think about it, we will run into certain problems. It is not so much how long we live that matters, but how we live. Let us explain. The last 5 minutes of that very boring math class took forever and I don’t think anyone in that situation would have been willing to give that professor a minute. Life expectancy is a raw number, it is a quantity of time, it is those 5 minutes that could be extended to 10 without being better for us. The importance of quality of life is absolute and society is becoming more and more aware of it. For this reason, from Life Length we tell you the evolution of the concept of quality of life and, more importantly, what factors are involved today to achieve it:
The concept of quality of life arose in the United States in the 1940s, after the end of World War II, in order to know if people considered that they had a good life and financial security. These concepts were interesting, but they were really poor for assessing quality of life, as they focused only on the economic aspect. Later on, psychological and subjective factors began to be taken into consideration, which enriched the concept and brought the results closer to values that determined happiness, a concept that is subjective in itself. For this reason, the concept of quality of life continues to generate debate today, with different definitions that take into account different parameters. Here we are not going to go into what is the good definition because we are not experts in philosophy. So we are going to focus on health, a factor that we have been researching for more than 10 years and we can affirm that it affects quality of life.
It is quite common to feel the desire to make the days last longer, since we can’t get more than 24 hours out of them, we can try to have more days. We have already made it clear that living clearly is not living better. We all want more years to accomplish goals, live experiences and enjoy moments. This is impossible if we lack health. You don’t enjoy walking when your joints hurt or you are overly fatigued. Reaching retirement after having worked more than 35 years and being able to enjoy free time to carry out activities and projects that before, for a simple matter of time, you could not do.
Clearly, we must enjoy life after retirement, stay physically active because we can and because we want to. But what about the years before? The truth is that 40 is the new 30, and it has nothing to do with maturity, the possibility of emancipation or the increasingly late tradition of having children. Physical well-being extends our youth. We are talking about appearance, but also about energy and spirit. With proper care, we can postpone the appearance of wrinkles and other symptoms of aging, as well as, of course, improve our organism on the inside, increasing a wellbeing that is very typical of youth.
Life expectancy has increased significantly. A person born in Brazil in 2015 is estimated to live about 20 years longer than a person born 50 years earlier. This fact, together with the reduction in the birth rate, has led to an aging population (the average age of people is higher). It is true that this event is forcing society to adapt to face a situation in which the economically productive society is smaller than the non-productive one. On the other hand, it is estimated that medical expenses to care for the older population will not be as high as they might seem because people’s health when they reach old age is also better.
There are people in their 80s who have physical and mental capacities comparable to those of other 20-year-olds. The variety present in the health of elderly people is such that it is difficult to establish patterns or generalities. The genetic component determines the aging of individuals, but it is not the only intervening factor. Environment and lifestyle are important factors affecting aging and health-related quality of life.
At Life Length we know that the way to maintain health and slow down aging is through disease prevention and healthy living. Preventing diseases will help us to reduce their impact on our body, treating them as soon as possible and even avoiding their appearance. On the other hand, having healthy habits slows down aging and keeps the body in good condition.
Of course, a dilemma arises, is there any way to scientifically measure aging? The reality is that there is. HealthTav® is a patented technology from Life Length that can measure telomere length, an important biomarker of age. This test can determine the deterioration of our cells by accurately measuring their telomere length.
Chronological age, which has nothing to do with old age, no longer matters. It is the telomere length, the biological age, that is really relevant. We all want to live longer, what we don’t know is that we only want to live longer if we do it better.