50 is not the new 20 - it's better than that

Many people over the age of 50 are feeling better about themselves than they did during their early adulthood, it has been found. A study by Engage Mutual Assurance - which currently serves 467,000 people of all ages - showed that high numbers of individuals in this demographic are happier both physically and mentally.

The research revealed 17 per cent of over-50s are more satisfied with their health and fitness than they were in their 20s, while 70 per cent of those questioned stated they are now more conscious of their diet and engage in more exercise.

Louise Withy, from the organisation, said it is great that so many older people are feeling good about themselves.

"[It] is good news when we consider that in light of increased life expectancy, many more of us will be spending a larger proportion of our life over 50," she added.

Reasons for survey respondents aiming to improve their health included wanting to play with their grandchildren, looking forward to an active retirement and for an engaging social life.

Dr Jane Prince, a Chartered Psychologist from the University of Glamorgan, commented:

"Although these findings might surprise some people (as ageing has such negative connotations in contemporary society), the older individual is in many ways much better positioned than young adults to feel positive about themselves. 

"They are at a stage of life when they have already achieved success, both in work and family life, rather than facing the uncertainly associated with early stages of careers and relationships, they are more likely to be financially secure and they tend to be more at ease with who they are, rather than aspiring to some broad undefined notion of success.    

"The feelings reported might also be connected to the way we 'remember' our personal histories. In early adulthood the future is uncertain and unpredictable and as older adults we clearly remember these feelings that we had at that time."