Dr. Michelle Pannor Silver was interviewed by Global News for her thoughts on how people can have a biological age that differs from their actual age. On top of physical health risks, she states that if someone’s biological age is greater than their actual age, it can affect their mental well-being, too. Factors like genetics, living environment, your lifestyle, diet and exercise habits all play a part in how people age. In addition, she points out that stress also impacts aging, as chronic stress can lead to an increased risk of disease and mental health issues.
Dr. Silver is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society. Her professional interests include gerontology, aging and the life course, retirement and health care expenditures. More specifically, her research interests include health economics, health informatics, health policy, and health services research.
The full article can be viewed here. We have posted an excerpt below.
What affects how you age?
So if the key to living longer is a lower biological age, what factors affect your ability to hold onto youth?
Silver said factors like genetics, the environment in which you live, your lifestyle, diet and exercise habits all play a part in how you age. She pointed out that stress also impacts aging, as chronic stress can lead to an increased risk of disease and mental health issues.
“To be physically active and socially engaged at later stages in the life course can affect how we age,” Silver added.
How to “slow down” aging
The good thing about biological age is that it can often be changed.
“Lifestyle definitely plays a role in aging,” Silver said. “Factors like what you eat and how often you move on a daily or even hourly basis matter at every stage of the life course.”
Silver acknowledged that the older we get, the more challenging movement can be. Despite this, she said people should create opportunities to be physically active to whatever extent is possible.