A New Online Tool Tells You How Long You Will Live
Apparently, I'm going to live until I'm 82. At least that's what this new online Life Expectancy Calculator from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Public Health Ontario, the University of Ottawa, and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, says. I had to lie a little bit to take it, since the form requires a Canadian zip postal code (K1Y 4E9), but it was worth it.
The questions the tool asks will make you quantify, and think about, those things in your life that could lead to an earlier death: smoking, drinking, an unhealthy diet, high stress, and a lack of exercise. The scientists and doctors involved in putting together the calculator did so after evaluating the results of three surveys and concluding that the five factors above greatly influenced life expectancy. These results were not published in a peer-reviewed journal, and the test itself is not an indicator of an individual's health. Instead, the calculator works by comparing a person's answers to the information gathered from looking at the answers of the roughly 80,000 people from Ontario who were surveyed.
The coolest thing about the calculator is that it not only spits out a life expectancy, but it also offers up your most modifiable risk factor. (Mine has something to do with giving up hamburgers, whisky, whiskey, and corn dogs.) While its age prediction might not be accurate, its suggestion on how to extend your life might just be the little push you need to act on all those times you've thought, “I need to eat more vegetables.”