By: Meg Irish
Published: November 15, 2019
Many of us have heard of lifespan, but do we know the importance of healthspan? Healthspan is the period of life spent in good health free from chronic diseases and the disability of aging. It is not merely the absence of disease, but health is the state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. If one is past their healthspan, that means they are chronically sick, typically with a degenerating condition. Unlike the average lifespan, which for Americans is roughly 79-years-old, we don’t have a marker for the average healthspan. Understanding how we age and what we can do to promote healthy aging is the key to building upon our healthspan. Once thought to be unavoidable, consequences of aging are now considered preventable.
People measure health like beauty. One person may feel healthy if their doctor says their vital signs are normal and they are able to take care of their personal needs. Another may feel unhealthy at the same level if they had to give up or restrict some enjoyed activity.