17/02

Stay young, live longer

By Geisha Bar

Do you know what I love about summer in Perth? The city shines with youthful energy. This optimism and lightness is contagious – children, hippies, soccer mums, suited executives, bingo playing grandmas and old men getting about on motorised scooters all smile and laugh more. Everyone bids each other “hello!” and “have a lovely day!” The significance of age walks out the door for 4 blissful months.
This was especially evident on the weekend with “The Giants” extravaganza. Yes, the marionettes were incredible – but the real magic was the bubbling joy in the people who attended. Again, and again I saw eyes light up with the retelling of the experiences. It is the same expression that alights upon children when being read to, when you do “the voices”.
The adage “age is just a number” is supported by academic study. Researchers in London conducted a long-term study where participants 52 years and older were asked how old they felt (vs real age). These people were then followed up 99 months later. It was discovered that the participants who felt older than chronological age were 41% more likely to have died than those who felt younger. That is quite extraordinary!
It’s time we put away the stones, and throw out the notion of what appropriate clothing, attitudes and pursuits look like for any given age group. Life expectancy and general wellbeing might just go through the roof of all those glass houses!