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'The longetivity Game'

'The Longevity Game "The Longevity Game" is designed to teach, or remind, "players" of things that are important to leading a long, healthy life. It was developed by the Northwestern Mutual Lite Insurance Company and reflects medical underwriting policies of the company based on information gathered by the life insurance industry and public health organizations.

Although the game may not include all factors which doctors believe contribute to a long life and all individuals are not affected exactly the same way by any of the factors, company medical officials note that each health consideration included in the game is critical to longevity.

We thought you might find it interesting to play the game and have included the questions below. Read each question and add or subtract years from the starting age (74), depending on your answer. If a question doesn't apply, go on to the next one.

Strenuous exercise builds the strong heart you need to live a long life. If your work requires regular, vigorous activity or you "work out" each day, add 3 years. If you don't get much exercise at home, work or play, subtract 3 years.

It you have a relaxed approach to life (you roll with the punches) add 3 years. If you're aggressive, ambitious or nervous (you have sleepless nights, you bite your fingernails), subtract 3 years (and, if you consider yourself unhappy, subtract another year).

Auto accidents are the largest cause of death among younger people (those under 35) and the fourth largest cause overall. Younger drivers who have had traffic tickets in the last year or been involved in an accident, subtract 4 years. Other violators, minus 1. (If you always wear seat belts, add 1.)

High blood pressure is a major cause of the most common killers heart attacks and strokes but most victims don't know they have it. If you have annual blood pressure checks or are under treatment for the condition, add 1 year.

If you are 65 or older and still working, + 3.

A family history of good health and long life indicates you have a good chance of living a long time.

If any grandparent reached age 85, add 2 (if all grandparents reached age 80, add 6).

A parent died of a stroke or heart attack before age 50, minus 4.

A parent or brother or sister has (or had) diabetes since childhood, minus 3,

Women live longer than men. Females add 3 years, men subtract 3 years.

Cigarette smokers:
More than two packs a day       - 8
One to two packs a day            - 6
One halt to one pack                 - 3

If you drink two cocktails (or beers or glasses of wine) a day, subtract 1 year. For each additional daily libation subtract 2.

The Weigh In: If you avoid eating fatty foods and you don't add salt to your meals, your heart will be healthier (and you're entitled to add 2 years). Now, weigh in:

Overweight by 50 pounds or more      -8
30 to 40 pounds?                              - 4
10 to 30 pounds?                              - 2

How long you have already lived can help predict how much longer you'll last. It you're under 30, the jury is still out. But,

30 to 40?      + 2
40 to 50?      + 3
50 to 70?       + 4
Over 70?       + 5

Your final age is _______.

Used by permission of copyright holder. Copyright © 1978 by The Northwestern Mutual Lite Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI.

Illinois Parks and Recreation 33 March/April 1985

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