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Positive perception of aging tied to better health

November 13, 2012

Today's seniors view aging quite differently than those from previous generations, and doing so may be good for their health, according to recent research. A study out of the Yale School of Public Health found that a person's attitude toward senior living could impact their well-being, according to

To test the theory, researcher interviewed a group of subjects in their 70s and asked what words best describe someone who is older. The team noticed that participants who used words such as "senile" were more likely to encounter hearing loss problems than people who answered with words like "wise."

The Yale research team also investigated whether influencing perceptions of aging on a less noticeable level had a similar impact. In fact, they found that if they subliminally flashed words like "alert" and "mature" to a group of seniors while they were walking, they tended to walk quicker than those who saw less positive words, according to the website.

The results should come as good news to baby boomers who have already retired or are getting ready to leave the workforce, as many of them feel much younger than their age might indicate. A recent survey from the Pew Research Center found that 61 percent of boomers feel younger than they actually are.

Those looking for a way to feel younger have many options at their disposal. In fact, even something as simple as exercising regularly during middle age can delay biological aging by as much as 12 years, according to a 2008 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.