There is a general feeling, especially among the middle-aged, that life begins at 40! Now it appears that the belief has to be tinkered with and made to read "mid-life begins at 40!
According to a recent study which was done to evaluate the attitude towards ageing, the general opinion is that we should stop calling ourselves young when we reach 40 years eight months and two weeks!! The poll, carried out for the Department for Work and Pensions, involved 2,171 people who were 16 years or over.
AdvertisementThe survey revealed that most Brits believed that old age begins when they complete 59 years, two months and two weeks.
There was a stark difference in opinions depending on age groups and gender. For instance most men believe that being young stops at age 38 and a half, while for women the cut off is at 42 years and nine months.
Also, women believe old age sets in at 60 years, four months and two weeks while men think it comes much earlier - at 58 years! The difference may be because women tend to live longer or may be because men focus more on their diminishing strength.
For those below the age of 50, old age begins at 46 years and nine months, while for those over 62 years it began at 62 years, seven months and two weeks. Those in the age group 16-24 years believed that being young stopped at 32 while those who were 80 and above believed that it was after 52 years.
The Department for Work and Pensions has stated that 'the disparity in perceptions' showed 'the potential for age stereotypes to be applied in very inconsistent ways.'
Class and income are also factors that influence a person's perception of age. People who are unemployed perceived that youth ended nine years earlier in comparison to those with full time jobs. It is also interesting to note that those who lived in council houses believed that old age began five years earlier to those who had their own homes.
The study revealed that the older people get, the later they think that old age begins! Also, there is a lot of negative attitude, regarding ageing and what older people can do, among younger people which is worrying!