Afraid of growing old? 7 in 10 agree that life actually gets better as you age

NEW YORK — Approximately eight in 10 Americans agree society puts too much value on appearing youthful, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 adults over 25 examined perspectives around aging and found that most agree that in today’s world, there’s a negative bias around aging or the perception of being old (77%). In fact, six in 10 Americans even avoid sharing their age in fear of being “judged” (61%).

Social media certainly doesn’t help, with 77 percent agreeing that social media filters send the wrong message about physical appearances. To make some positive changes, people would opt for terms that send a more positive view of aging than the term “anti-aging” such as “healthy aging” (54%) or “aging well” (47%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Great Lakes Wellness Collagen, the survey found that many respondents wish they didn’t feel pressure to combat the aging process, with three in four (75%) saying that they want to spend less time fighting aging and more time doing things they love.

The same percentage (75%) also agree that age is not something to fight or fear, but rather an opportunity to live a more fulfilling and emotionally and physically healthy life.

Aging like fine wine

In reality, most have actually seen areas of their lives improve with age (71%), such as confidence (49%), their sense of self (45%), and their relationships with family members (44%). In fact, most people who are out of their 20s say that they feel more fulfilled (69%) and satisfied (71%) with their lives today.

“Our mission is to help lead a new, positive conversation around aging and free consumers from the idea that they need to fight this process,” says Jim Burkett, president of Great Lakes Wellness, in a statement. “While ‘anti-aging’ has become the norm for quite some time, we’re starting to see a shift among Americans who realize aging is living.”

aging stigma

Want to live longer? Stay positive

Many are still concerned about getting older, fearing that they won’t have enough energy (39%) or changes in their appearance (38%) – so much so that half of those surveyed put a lot of time into fighting the appearance of aging. Two-thirds of respondents even feel younger than they are, feeling nearly a decade younger on average.

Participants agree that the top benefits of aging are having more life experience (37%), gaining wisdom (37%), and being more confident (35%). Seventy-four percent also said they learn something new about themselves or the world around them every year.

So, what is the secret to aging well? Four in five people say that a better attitude leads to more graceful aging.

While 74 percent like it when people think they’re younger than they really are, seven in 10 are embracing their age, with a similar percentage sharing that getting older is not as bad as they thought it would be (69%).

Many are making the effort to live healthier lifestyles after seeing how their parents have aged (73%) and being affected by changes in their own health status (44%). To get there, respondents shared that they plan on eating well (43%), staying positive (42%), and taking vitamins or supplements (36%).

“This new research is showing that Americans are focused on wellness as they age, including mental and physical support,” Burkett says. “Building healthy habits whether you’re in your 30s or 80s is critical to aging gracefully and feeling your best in each decade.”

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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