PruHealth insurance finds 40 is the new 30

24 October 2009 / by Rachael Stiles

The average 40 year old feels nearer to 30 than to their actual age, research from PruHealth has found, while younger generations with unhealthy lifestyles are feeling older than their years.

PruHealth's research reveals that younger generations of British adults, those in their twenties and thirties, lead less healthy lifestyles than those aged 40 or older.

The study shows that 44 per cent of Brits feel younger than their real age, with the nation's 40 year olds saying they feel 11.5 years younger, on average.

Also, the research found that the younger generations are being worn down by the stresses and strains of modern life more than their older counterparts, calling into question the relevancy today of the old adage of being 'over the hill' when one reaches a certain age.

Today's 20-somethings feel three years older than their age, on average, 30 years old generally feel their actual age.

The average Brit in their twenties or thirties have less energy even than those in their sixties, the study found, with more younger people reporting a dip in their energy levels throughout the day than older Brits; 12 per cent of 30-somethings do not feel energetic at any time of the day, compared to just six per cent of people in their sixties.

From its research, PruHealth has deduced that 40 could be the turning point when it comes to health and wellbeing, because people in their twenties and thirties do not live such healthy lifestyles as those in their forties and fifties, which could account for their low energy levels.

An unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and not getting enough sleep are the top three reasons for a lack of energy, PruHealth explained, and only 47 per cent of the younger generations say they eat a balanced diet, 18 per cent do not get any exercise, and 25 per cent get fewer than six hours' sleep a night.

The study also revealed other facts about the lifestyles of the different age groups, and found that a higher proportion of younger people smoke, struggle to eat their five fruit and vegetables a day, and regularly eat takeaways.

Commenting on the findings, Shaun Matisonn, CEO at PruHealth insurance, said: "While it's wonderful to see that the older we get, the better we feel, the energy levels of those under 40 clearly needs more attention. This age group need to get more exercise – and more sleep – eat healthily and follow more active lifestyles to help boost their energy levels.

"Finding time in your 30s to exercise and eat healthily can be especially difficult while you're juggling a career and looking after a young family, but incorporating small steps in your daily routine, such as getting off the bus a stop early and snacking on fruit rather than crisps, can help make all the difference." 

PruHealth insurance offers its policyholders rewards to encourage them to lead healthy lifestyles, such as cheaper health insurance premiums, and providing points through its Vitality programme for making improvements to their diet, exercise patterns, and other lifestyle choices.

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