Have you ever wondered how long you live? I'm sure most of have; it's not uncommon. In fact many people have dedicated their lives to understanding average life expectancy of various groups of people based on various demographics. These same statisticians and clinical researchers who compile all the information on mortality rates and longevity pockets have created what are known as life expectancy tables which generally speaking compute the length of life one is expected to live given their age and birth year.

How To Understand Life Expectancy Tables

Credit: http://www.mortality-trends.org/3_special_graphs/13.htmlTo ask how to understand these tables is to ask how to understand how mortality relates to life expectancy. Mortality rates or probability is based upon given demographics and circumstances. For instance someone who smokes is more likely to go in a given year than someone who doesn't. Someone who is 85 years old is more likely to go than someone who is 65 years of age.

The expected life span of a fifty year old is going to be longer than that of a baby girl or boy due to the risks the older person has already avoided. The mortality rate calculates the average probability for a group of people based on certain demographics to go in a given period of time.

Credit: CDC

Life expectancy is inherently different and calculates not what the probability that someone will die but rather how long they will live. Instead of asking what is the chances that a cancer survivor will live an additional 10 years, a life expectancy table will show what the average age a cancer survivor will live to if they had cancer at a given age.

Similarly an expectancy rate will show the average age a 50 year old person will live to if they were born in the year 1920 or the year 1959. The rate does not capture everybody nor will it accurately predict life span it will just tell you an average of a group of people based on a few predetermined parameters.

What Is My Epected Lifespan?

What this means is that a mortality rate is constant. For a given population of 50 year olds with a certain form of cancer a given percentage will not make it past their 55th birthday. Thus the average expectancy rate for the group may be 65 years as an example. No matter what if you fall into the demographic you cannot change your mortality rate but you can influence your rate by changing your personal demographics.

Maybe you learn that a certain percentage of 50 year olds with cancer perish before turning 55 but a higher percentage make it past that age if they go walking every day for 30 minutes and practice better nutrition. If you choose to join the demographic that walks for thirty minutes every day then you will effectively have raised your expectancy rate by joining a new demographic of people with a higher average life expectancy.

How To Use These Tables to Increase Lifespan

You can do this all you want. All you have to do is learn what demographics you can control which also lead to higher average life expectancies. As an example people who live social lives live longer on average. People who practice calorie restriction with optimal nutrition live longer lives. People who have a sense of purpose typically have longer life spans, personality traits which are more positive, and live more productive lives. People who do not smoke live much longer lives than the average societal member. If you want to live longer then all you have to do is find these activities or groups of people who live longer on average and do what they are doing and don't do what they aren't doing.

By actively choosing to live a longer life you have to begin to understand life expectancy tables and rates. You have to understand how actions and demographics effect mortality and you have to understand how you can affect these observations to your advantage. I encourage you today to discover which actions you can take today to increase your chances of living longer and healthier.