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50+: Live Better, Longer

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iPods, Texting at 100: How Centenarians Stay Hip

Eating Healtfullhy, Staying Active and Socially Connected Among Secrets of 100-Year-Olds

Seniors Staying in Touch continued...

About 84,000 centenarians are living in the U.S., and that number is projected to increase to 580,000 by 2040, Evercare says.

The 2010 survey also compares lifestyles and beliefs of centenarians with seniors graduating from college. More young people are expected to reach their 100th birthdays compared to their predecessors, but they also will face health challenges older people did not, such as an increasing prevalence of obesity and diabetes.

Among other findings of the centenarian survey:

  • 57% chose Betty White as their top pick for dinner guest, compared to 55% for Bill Cosby, 54% for Bill Clinton, 44% for Michelle Obama, and 31% for Sarah Palin and Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House.
  • 35% of the centenarians say the recession has affected their ability to continue to live out their retirement/end-of-life plans.
  • 75% say they eat balanced meals daily, compared to 44% of seniors in college.
  • 41% of centenarians say they walk or hike at least once a week, 31% garden, 6% practice tai chi, yoga, or meditate, and 2% run.
  • 62% say they pray, meditate, or engage in some spiritual activity daily.
  • 20% say they do some type of volunteer work.

“The bottom line in longevity is consistent and clear,” Leenay says in a news release. “Be active until you can’t. Stay connected and engaged. Try new things and challenge yourself.”

Most Were Ready to Reach 100

The results were based on interviews of 100 people aged 99 and higher.

Of those surveyed:

  • 74% felt prepared to reach the age of 100.
  • 47% feel lifestyle choices are the key to longevity.
  • 76% believe it is more important to maintain a healthy attitude than a healthy weight.
  • 32% eat organic food regularly.
  • 72% laugh or giggle regularly.
  • 75% get eight hours or more of sleep nightly.
  • 26% think researchers will find a cure for cancer.

Among college seniors surveyed:

  • 94% feel volunteering is a good idea for the country.
  • 69% believe the economic slump will affect their ability to find a job when they graduate.
  • 69% would invite Brad Pitt to dinner (43% of centenarians did not know who Pitt is).
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