What age do you want to live to be? From a cultural and healthcare perspective, we focus heavily on extending people’s lives. We develop anti-aging serums and life-extending medical advances in an everlasting search for the fountain of youth. But is a longer life a happier, healthier life?
Instead of aiming to live for as long as possible, aiming to live an active life for as long as possible may just lead to more success.
What is the difference between lifetime and playtime?
A “lifetime” simply refers to the duration of a person’s life. Playtime, as defined in this article, is a bit different than lifetime. Playtime refers specifically to the duration of a person’s active, play-filled life. Under these definitions, your lifetime may very well extend past your playtime.
Focusing on extending our “playtime” is far more valuable than simply extending our “lifetime”.
From a monetary standpoint, living disease-free for longer leads to less healthcare costs on a personal and national level.
End-of-life costs in the U.S. for example, are astoundingly high. About a quarter of all Medicare spending goes towards care during the last year of a person’s life. Many of these costs result from avoidable, food/lifestyle-caused chronic diseases. By the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics definition, a chronic disease is a sickness that lasts 3+ months. On the level of the individual, patients with multiple chronic diseases can spend more than $57 000 per year on their health care.
Instead of focusing on spending though, the solution may come through providing personalized and preventative care.
- Personalized: Care that is tailored to an individual’s needs and preferences, especially when it comes to end-of-life care. For example, while most people prefer the idea of passing away at home, over a fifth of patients pass in the hospital.
- Preventative: Because so many end-of-life (and other) costs result from chronic, preventable conditions, treatment and guidance that avoids or reduces chronic diseases will lower costs later in life.
From a non-monetary standpoint, aging healthfully is priceless. Why not maximize the time you are able to enjoy the activities you love?
If you’re interested in learning how long statistics suggest you will live (and which factors you can change to manipulate that), check out this test.
[Live longer by following the time-tested Mediterranean Diet]
The more you “play”, the longer your playtime (and your lifetime) may be. Instead of asking what age you want to live to, perhaps you should be asking what age you want to play to.