A new study from the organisers of the 50+ Show shows that the older you are, the younger your body feels relative to your actual age, with your mind feeling even younger than your body.
1758 survey respondents at the 50+ Shows in London, Glasgow and Manchester were each asked to give their actual age, how old their body felt and how old their mind felt. Results were divided into those in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.
On average, those in their 50s reported that they felt that their body was 6.7 years younger than their actual age, but that their minds felt a full 16 years younger than their actual age. The results are show in the attached graph.
Those in their 60s said that their bodies felt 11.5 years younger than their real age, while their minds felt 19.8 years younger.
Respondents in their 70s said that their bodies felt 14.8 years younger than their actual age, and that their minds felt 23.6 years younger than their chronological age.
Finally, those in their 80s said that their bodies felt 19.3 years younger that their actual age and that their minds felt a full 27 years younger than their age.
Report author and 50+ Show director Robert McCaffrey commented, "These results show that most people have a very youthful approach to older age: In their 50s people feel like their bodies are in their 40s, and in their 60s and 70s they feel like they are still in their 50s. Even into their 80s, on average our respondents felt like their bodies were in their early 60s."
"The effect is more pronounced with our respondents' minds: Those in their 50s felt like their minds were in their 30s, while again those in their 60s and 70s felt that their minds were in their 40s. The minds of those in their 80s are most nimble, compared to their actual age, with respondents in their 80s reporting that their minds feel like they are in their mid-50s."
Robert McCaffrey continued, "Breaking down the numbers, those in the London and South East area felt the most youthful compared to their actual age. Those in Manchester felt younger in their bodies than their equivalents in Glasgow, while those in Glasgow felt younger in their minds than the Mancunians, at least until they reached their 80s."
On average, all respondents said that they felt that their minds and bodies were ageing, but not quite as fast as their real age.
McCaffrey concluded, "Visitors to the 50+ Shows in Manchester, Glasgow and London have been taking care of themselves and it shows - they feel years younger than their real age. There seems to be a lot of truth in the old adage that you are only as old as you feel."
The 50+ Show is the UK's largest series of exhibition for the active over-50s, taking place in Manchester in March, London in July, Glasgow in November and in Birmingham in December. The 50+ Show will next take place at London Olympia on 11-13 July. Full details are at www.50plusShow.com.