Answer all quiz items as truthfully as possible – in other words, to the best of your knowledge. Don’t guess. Begin with 79 years, then add or subtract years based on the scoring of your answers on each item. Your completed (total) score is a rough estimate of your current life expectancy.
1. Where is your ancestral home? (if not given, enter a score of 0). US = minus 2. Austria-UK = minus 1. Canada-France-Italy = 0. Australia-Singapore-Sweden = plus 2. Japan = plus 3. FACT: Life expectancy varies by nation due to genetic and cultural differences.
2. What is your gender ? Female = plus 1. Male = minus 2. FACT: Life expectancy favors the female gender regardless of culture.
3. Do you have an annual Age calculator physical exam? Yes = plus 3. No = minus 3. FACT: Many diseases (cancers, hypertension) in later life are asymptomatic, go unnoticed and untreated.
4. Do you have parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents who lived to 85-plus? Add 2 for each 85-plus relative. FACT: Research demonstrates that long-lived parents tend to produce long-living children.
5. Do you volunteer on a weekly basis? Yes = plus 2. No = minus 1.
FACT: Studies confirm that volunteering focuses attention away from ourselves and onto others.
6. Do you live alone? Yes = minus 3. No = 0. FACT: Adults who live alone tend to be less well-nourished, more isolated, and less nurtured.
7. Are you able to laugh at and learn from your mistakes? Yes = plus 1. No = minus 3. FACT: Laughter, humility, and a positive outlooks are linked to increased life expectancy.
8. Do you have a confidant who listens to your most intimate concerns? Yes = plus 1. No = minus 2.
FACT: Confidants offer emotional catharsis and a sense of personal worth to those in crisis.
9. Do you engage in daily mental exercises such as puzzles, games, learning or problem-solving? Yes = plus 4. No = 0. FACT: Individuals that continually challenge their minds suffer fewer cognitive disorders.
10. Do you engage in some form of daily aerobic exercise such as swimming, jogging or biking? Yes = plus 2. No = 0. FACT: Exercising at one’s target heart rate strengthens the heart and boosts metabolism.
11. Do you eat a balanced diet, including fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains? Yes = plus 2. No = minus 3. FACT: Balanced dieters experience lower risk of both genetic and culturally related diseases.
12. Do you smoke a pack of cigarettes daily? Yes = minus 5 for men, minus 10 for women. No = 0. FACT: Smoking causes nearly half a million cancer and lung disease deaths every year.
13. Do you live with, work with, or spend time with people who smoke? Yes = minus 1 for men, minus 2 for women. No = 0. FACT: Although close association with smokers is thought to reduce a person’s life expectancy by one year, recent research suggests this association may reduce life expectancy by two years.
14. Does your body weight “yo-yo” as you go on and off diet fads? Yes = minus 5. No = 0. FACT: Unorthodox dietary regimens stress the heart and immune system, increasing the risk of disease.
15. Do you own a pet? Yes = plus 2. No = 0. FACT: Peer-reviewed scientific journals substantially support longevity benefits of pet companionship. (Note: Avoid exotic pets, such as parrots, monkeys, reptiles, or rodents. These animals have been known to carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans.)
16. When writing, which hand do you use? Left-handed = minus 1. Right-handed = 0. Life is stressful for lefties living in a made-for right-hand world. FACT: Lefties live in a world where most objects are designed for right-handed people. Objects such as scissors, pencil sharpeners, door openers, and can openers are rarely designed for left-handed people.
17. How tall are you? For every inch of your height that exceeds 5’8″ = subtract six months. FACT: Size does matter, but not in any way you may have thought. Shorter people live longer.
18. Do you belong to any religious group, and do you practice your faith? Yes = plus 2. No = 0. FACT: Attending to both physical and spiritual needs lowers morbidity and mortality.
19. Do you have two or more daughters? Yes = plus 3. No = 0. Daughters are elder caregivers. FACT: Daughters provide the bulk of eldercare. Even daughters-in-law provide more care than do sons.
20. Do you use stress management techniques such as meditation, quiet time or visiting a spa? Yes = plus 4. No = minus 3. FACT: Because there is no escape from stress in our modern society, stress management is the best response.