As more and more people reach 100, it’s clear that more and more people expect to reach 100. And expect others to reach 100.
Just as one example, the US Track and Field Association organizes track meets in “master” categories for competitors over age 35. It now runs up to age 105! Yes, there are enough competitors to return a meaningful result if you search on Wikipedia.
We like to keep an eye on factoids like these because they all speak to the “normalization” of longevity — and that normalization is a social force in and of itself. If we treat longevity as a reasonable expectation and not an outlandish one-off aberration, this in turn means more support for policies that encourage and enable longevity. This is over and above longevity research in the lab; it speaks to social policy, housing policy, financial policy — in fact, the total reimagining of almost every aspect of our community and how it works.
That’s why were were attracted to this article,an interview with Professor Perminder Sachdev, of New Zealand, dealing with the question, “Could we live to be 150?”
The article lays out in great detail just how reasonable the question has become.
It points out that the number of centenarians will increased “seven- to eight-fold over the next three decades.” And while the professor doubts the feasibility of living to 150 — “with the current technology” — he speaks of living to 120 as a distinct possibility.
And as for 100? “We can reasonably hope to live to 100,” he says, “with regular exercise, good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. We can hope to live well into our 90s, as independent and well-functioning individuals. That’s really the miracle of modern science and a modern standard of living.”
It doesn’t really matter what the “magic number” is or is not, at any point in time. What counts is that longevity — and we could say SuperAging — is ever more widely recognized as the new norm, the new expectation.