As the Longevity Industrial Complex continues to grow by leaps and bounds, new language – more nuanced language – is being used to talk about longevity. Perhaps the most disturbing conversation is around “healthspan” vs “lifespan.”
At 100 Year Lifestyle, for decades we have been talking about achieving healthy longevity – 100:100, living at 100% for 100 years or more. Without a doubt, the concepts of health and longevity are inextricably linked for us. Our lifestyle is built around living your best, healthiest life until your last breath.
However, today, many companies and organizations are feeling the need to distinguish between healthspan vs. lifespan. Let’s look at their definitions. The definition of lifespan is generally agreed upon: The length of time for which a person (or animal or thing) functions. There is no specification regarding health or level of functioning.
Conversely, when it comes to healthspan, according to the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at Washington University, healthspan is defined as “the period of one’s life that one is healthy. However, being ‘healthy’ means different things to different people. A better definition might include being free from serious disease. A disease is considered to be serious if it is a leading cause of death.”
With both of these definitions in mind, it is interesting to note that while we can calculate the average lifespan – currently 79 years for women and 73 years for men – there is no accepted way to determine the average healthspan.
No One Wants That
In an attempt to rectify that, the World Health Organization has created an indicator of healthy life expectancy or HALE. Basically, they have looked at the first occurrence of each of the most common serious diseases, calculated their occurrences across the population, and then averaged those two numbers. Their findings are that Americans as a whole live up to 20% of our lives unhealthy – or outside of our health spans. Clearly, no one wants that.
For many companies, pharmaceuticals and others, this 20% window represents an opportunity to create drugs, treatments, and a host of other products for us to purchase and put our faith in.
Prescription for Lifestyle
However, our like-minded friends at the Harvey A. Friedman Center, among others, realize that many of these “common serious diseases” can be handled with lifestyle. If you aren’t vested in creating the next pill or potion, you realize that a healthy diet, exercise, social and intellectual stimulation, relationships – these are all lifestyle components that have “strong physiological effects that should not be ignored.”
Max Showed Us
Certainly, for the 100 Year Lifestyle, the distinction between lifespan and healthspan has never been an issue. We never advocated living longer – without consideration for health. As our inspiration Max taught us, growing old alone, in ill health, and broke isn’t something anyone wants – for themselves or their loved ones.
Consequently, our advice to you is don’t get involved in the healthspan vs. lifespan conversation. By all means, bypass it entirely. Instead focus on living your 100 Year Lifestyle starting today!
Every Aspect of Your Health
At the core of your 100 Year Lifestyle is taking care of your spine and nervous system. It is accurate to say that your nervous system affects every aspect of your health. Among those aspects are your senses and how your brain interprets the information you get from your senses, stress response, digestion, sleep, your healing process, and aging. It is literally the body’s command center. This is what allows you to experience life in the way that you do.
It is indisputable that a healthy nervous system is essential to a healthy long life. Everyone needs chiropractic. ~ Dr. Eric Plasker
Don’t spend a moment thinking about healthspan vs. lifespan. Instead, join us in creating healthy longevity – and make your healthspan and lifespan the same number! Live a healthy lifestyle, make the right choices, and find a 100 Year Lifestyle provider near you to keep you and your nervous system functioning at 100% for 100 years or more!