Positive Attitude Key to Delay Feeling Old

The 10th annual UnitedHealthcare 100@100 survey finds that 60% of Centenarians say they do not feel old—and those who do, say they did not start feeling old until age 87, on average.

On average, Centenarians report feeling more than two decades younger—79-years-old. Reflecting back, on average centenarians felt:

  • the most attractive at age 31;
  • the most energetic at age 34;
  • the happiest at age 44;
  • the healthiest at age 46;
  • the wisest at age 49; and
  • the most content at age 56.


In last year’s survey, when asked what stage in life they remember most fondly, Centenarians expressed the most nostalgia for their 30s.

Keeping a positive attitude is the most important factor in staying healthy, according to one-quarter of respondents. The next most popular answers are eating healthy (21%), exercising regularly (10%), and keeping busy (9%). Sixty-one percent of 100-year-olds say they see themselves as being very positive people; nearly half (47%) say it gets easier to maintain a positive attitude with age.

“Year after year, we hear from centenarians that there is a correlation between healthy aging and a healthy mindset,” says Rhonda Randall, D.O., chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare Retiree Solutions. “It’s a good reminder for us all to take care of our mental, emotional and social health—in addition to our physical health.”