How Long Do You Really Want to Live?

Cheerful senior woman on a swing at a playgroundPeople put a lot of stock in quantity. They want more. More stuff, more food, more.

But what about quality? Is more food at a local chain restaurant really what you want?


It’s the same with age. There is so much emphasis on how long a person wants to live. But rarely are their conversations around quality. Does a person presented with the potential of chronic pain or dementia want to be kept alive for as long as possible?

That’s what a recent study sought to determine. It asked people how long they wanted to live.

The study asked 825 people aged 60 or older in Norway between 2017 and 2019 what age they would like to live to. The answer was about 91 and-a-half.

Researchers chose Norway because it has a relatively high life expectancy.

Older participants, perhaps understandably, had a higher preferred life expectancy (PLR) than younger ones.

Quality of life, however, played a role in decision-making. When participants were faced with hypothetical chronic ailments, like dementia and chronic pain, the desire to live longer was significantly shorter.


This is interesting because there is so much focus on extending life rather than improving quality, or even asking individuals how long they might like to live. Dementia and chronic pain, after all, are very daunting. The study revealed dementia was the top condition that led people to prefer a shorter life.

So, how can you live a long and high-quality life? While nothing is guaranteed, some things can help reduce the risk of chronic illness. Living an active lifestyle, staying engaged with social circles, and eating a healthful diet that’s low in processed foods and high in whole foods, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and fresh protein can all help.

When you think about your life, think about more than just how long. Rather, try to shift your focus to “how well.”

Author Bio

About eight years ago, Mat Lecompte had an epiphany. He’d been ignoring his health and suddenly realized he needed to do something about it. Since then, through hard work, determination and plenty of education, he has transformed his life. He’s changed his body composition by learning the ins and outs of nutrition, exercise, and fitness and wants to share his knowledge with you. Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.