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When it comes to how long any of us are going to live, it turns out that we Coloradans are positive thinkers. In fact, the average Coloradan believes they will live two years above the official life expectancy in their state, but we don’t want to live forever.

According to a new study, some 50 percent expressed their willingness to participate in drug trials if it was said to double their lifespan. But one in three are actively against the development of treatments that would allow people to live forever. This interactive map shows life expectancy predictions across the country.

A new study of 3,000 respondents by HelloPharmacist has found that the average Coloradan believes they will live until the age of 82 – a full two years above the state average based on County Health Rankings data. (which is age 80), and four years above the national life expectancy. Turns out, we people in the Centennial State are among the most optimistic in America about our longevity.

But, when you delve a bit deeper, there are actually several reasons that Coloradans may be justified in being confident of surpassing their state life expectancy: This can be attributed to several factors such as the state’s high rate of physical activity, low obesity rate, and access to quality healthcare.

Colorado has one of the highest rates of regular physical activity in the country, with more than 50 percent of adults reporting regular exercise, which contributes to better overall health and increased lifespan.

Additionally, the state’s obesity rate is lower than the national average, at 22.2 percent compared to the national average of 42.4 percent. The state also has a well-established healthcare system, with a higher ratio of primary care physicians to patients compared to the national average, providing residents with easier access to preventive care and early detection of health problems.

Broken down by state, HelloPharmacist found that Rhode Islanders and Nevadans were equally the most optimistic about their longevity, saying they think they will live for six years above the state average (79.4 in Rhode Island, and 78.1 in Nevada), thus living to a ripe old age of 85 and 84. And New Mexicans were the least optimistic.

The study also uncovered intriguing insights – 50 percent of those surveyed expressed their willingness to participate in drug trials as a guinea pig if it was said to double their lifespan. This percentage appears surprisingly high as drug trials come with serious inherent risks and challenges.

More than one-third – 38 percent – say they take supplements and medications for the specific purpose of living a longer life. However, it should be noted that vitamin supplements are not actually a proven way to increase lifespan. While some studies have suggested that certain vitamins, such as vitamin D and vitamin E, may have some beneficial effects on health and longevity, the majority of research does not support the idea that taking vitamin supplements will help people live longer.

Following reports that Silicon Valley is pouring billions into biotech start-ups with the goal of discovering either how to extend longevity, or live forever, HelloPharmacist also asked respondents a (semi) hypothetical question:

“If scientists developed a pill which would allow you to live forever, would you take it?” 

A significant 42 percent of respondents said that they would. A quarter (24 percent) of respondents say they would be indifferent, while a third – 34 percent – would be actively against a pill that would allow them to live forever.

On the face of it, it makes sense that people would want to live as long as possible; but doing so would raise ethical, societal, and environmental concerns. Brian Staiger of HelloPharmacist explains: “The possibility of eternal life raises several concerns, including overpopulation, depletion of resources, and philosophical questions about the significance of death and the value of life.

Furthermore, it could create disparities in wealth and resource distribution, where only a limited number have access to life-prolonging treatment. This could potentially alter established cultural beliefs and lead to significant social changes.

Many Americans, when they stop to think about where their are in the generations of their families, can connect to no more than six generations (great grandparents, grandparents, parents, themselves, their children and grandchildren). Do we really want to hang around and meet our sixth great grandchildren — or would they want to meet us?

Additionally, 80 percent of respondents also said they would happily run one mile per day if it would guarantee they would live for an extra five years.

However, it does seem as if public messaging about the value of exercise is not breaking through: several pieces of research suggests that many Americans simply don’t get enough exercise. According to the CDC, only about 20 percent of U.S. adults meet the recommended guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.

Scientists often refer to exercise as the real ‘miracle drug’ as it carries so many health benefits; done regularly, it can improve cardiovascular health, increase muscle and bone strength, decrease the risk of chronic diseases, improve mental health and cognitive function, and even help with weight management.

Finally, the survey revealed that more than half of respondants – 52 percent – said they’d prefer to outlive their partner.

“Physical activity and proper nutrition are the keys to unlocking a longer, healthier life. By taking care of our bodies through exercise and nourishing them with wholesome foods, we set the foundation for a life filled with vitality and longevity.” says Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD.

Feature article source recapping a survey of 3,000 respondants: HelloPharmacist.