Online calculator reveals your REAL health age (and how many years you’ve got left)
WHILE everyone has a lifespan, you also have a healthspan which is the number of years you will live in good health for.
This handy online calculator reveals both your real health age and how many years you’ve got left.Your actual health age could be different to your real age and it depends on factors such as exercise, sleep and the amount of booze we consume[/caption]
Experts at Vitality and RAND Europe developed an algorithm which looks at age, gender and lifestyle choices in order to determine your real health age.
Research from Vitality found that people in the UK are living on average 12 years in ill health – that’s 14 per cent longer than in 1990.
It found that on average, 16 per cent of a woman’s life, and 13 per cent of a man’s life is expected to be spent in ill health.
Experts say that the increasing number of years lived in ill health is largely due to the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions and lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, musculoskeletal condition and mental health as well as certain risk factors like BMI (body mass index) increasing at younger ages.
While the calculator reveals your real health age, it also tells you how long you have left to live and how many of these years could be in poor health – here’s how to use it.
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How to use the calculator
First visit the online calculator page and click ‘get started’.
From here you will be asked a whole range of health questions, starting with your sex and when you were born.
You will then be asked about your weekly exercise habits as well as questions referring to your oxygen levels and your cardiovascular fitness levels.
Remember to answer the questions as honestly as you can in order to get an accurate representation of your health.
The next set of questions is all about diet and you will be asked about your portions of grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, fruit, vegetables, red meat, processed meat, sweetened drinks and your salt intake.
Next you’ll be asked your height, weight, your blood pressure level and whether or not you see a doctor and are prescribed medication for hypertension.
Other questions include those on your cholesterol levels, your fasting glucose level and whether or not you are currently under the care of a doctor for diabetes.
When it comes to your lifestyle, you’ll be asked about how much booze you drink on a weekly basis, if you smoke and your sleep schedule.
The algorithm will then calculate your results which will reveal how many years of life you have left and how many of these years you are set to spend in ill health.
You will then also be given personalised health recommendations such as lowering the amount your drink and upping your fruit and vegetable intake.
If you have a BMI of over 25 then you are recommended to lose weight.
Dr Katie Tryon, Chief Engagement Officer at Vitality said: “Everyone is familiar with the concept of lifespan but not many of us are aware we have a healthspan.
“Improving the health of individuals and populations now requires us to help people understand the behaviours they can adopt at different ages and life stages.
“The earlier you start, the greater the rewards. For a 30-year-old, relatively unhealthy woman, our research shows that reducing systolic blood pressure to a healthy range and incorporating 20 minutes of vigorous exercise per day can increase her healthspan by over four years.
“But adopting healthier behaviours at any stage can have a big impact.”
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