How Old Do You Feel?


We’ve all heard the saying, “You’re only as old as you feel.”

Back in 2009, The New York Times reported that one-third of adults between 65 and 74 said they feel 10 to 19 years younger than their actual age, and one-sixth of people 75 and older said they felt 20 years younger.

We found those results to be representative of the older members of Centre County, where 12.3 percent of the population is over the age of 65. Through multiple interviews with those 65+ in State College and beyond, many seniors reported feeling anywhere from five to 30 years younger than the number on their birth certificate.

Comedian George Burns once said, “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”

While old age is certainly no comedy show, there’s nothing wrong with making light of the aging process. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the average life expectancy in America is 78.8 years, but many people are living well into their 80s and 90s. The National Institute on Aging also says that disease and disability are no longer inevitable parts of growing older, meaning that many older adults can be healthy and active well into the end stages of life. As of 2012, the CDC reports there are 43.1 million U.S. residents over the age 65.

Many of those interviewed reported having many physical ailments, it seems as if (mentally) getting old is a choice. With that being said, how old do you feel?

About The Contributor

Leah is a senior majoring in print journalism, but she dabbles in multimedia and photojournalism for fun. A runner, pun-lover and overall health fanatic,  Leah focuses on living well and loves to produce a happy story. She believes that aging doesn’t have to be depressing, and Leah wants to show the world the fun parts of getting older in Centre County. Leah Polakoff is a student at Penn State studying print journalism and sociology.

Her work includes a wide variety of subjects, people and places. Leah is primarily a features reporter who focuses on health and wellness. She enjoys putting a unique spin on the average story and loves to think outside of the box.

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