Home Lifestyle Here’s the age that Gen Z considers to be ‘old’

Here’s the age that Gen Z considers to be ‘old’

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Our perceptions of ageing change as we age (Picture: Getty Images)

If you’re in your fifties, you might not take too kindly to this…

Gen Z (born between the mid-to-late 1990s and early 2010s) and Baby Boomers (born between the late 1940s and early 1960s) just can’t seem to get along or agree on much these days – and this certainly won’t help matters.

Whether it’s an ‘OK Boomer’ retort, conflicting attitudes about the 9 to 5 or using capital letters in text messages, the two generations often have very different views. 

And now, the same can be said about attitudes towards ageing. A total of 2,000 adults were asked about generational differences in a recent study commissioned by Wellsoon at Practice Plus Group

Those under the age of 27 believe that old age begins around the late 50s, and retirement mostly involves sitting in an armchair and ‘pottering’ about. 

However, two thirds of Boomers say they feel up to 20 years younger than their true age, with 60 being the new 40. 

You’re old when you’re in your late 50s, according to Gen Z (Picture: Getty Images/Maskot)

Boomers were also found to be the most active out of the two generations. They spend an average of four more hours embracing the great outdoors beyond work hours, compared to young adults.

The older group credits feeling younger to their active, outdoorsy lifestyle. And yet 37% of Boomers said they would be even more active if it wasn’t for health issues and chronic joint pains.

When it comes to the meaning of ‘ageing’, a quarter of Boomers associated it with not being as healthy.

But 22% of Millennials thought of it as losing your looks and your appearance changing.

We’ve already witnessed the rise of anti-ageing cosmetic treatments, like preventative Botox and under-eye filler among young adults. And it’s clear that Gen Z – the second youngest generation, with Gen Alpha up next – have not beaten the ubiquitous fear of ageing that’s plagued generations.

This was made even more apparent by TikTok’s viral Aged filter, which caused stress and anguish across the internet last summer. It uses artificial intelligence to give users a brief look into their future reflection.

Celebrities joined the public in sharing their horrified reactions to the filter. Kylie Jenner couldn’t help but show her disappointment with what she saw, responding with: ‘I don’t like it at all. No. No.’

Our current age appears to change what we consider to be ‘old’. A separate study published by the American Psychological Association found huge differences in the way people perceive the start of old age.

Researchers looked at data from 14,056 people in the German Ageing Survey over several decades. They found an individual’s perception of old age changed as they got older, and as the participants aged, their idea of the onset of their elderly era began much later.

For example, at age 64, the average participant said old age started at 74.7, but at 74, they said old age started at 76.8.

The researchers also discovered that women said old age began two years later than men, and that difference increased over time.  

Study author Dr Markus Wettstein wrote: ‘Life expectancy has increased, which might contribute to a later perceived onset of old age. 

‘Also, some aspects of health have improved over time, so that people of a certain age who were regarded as old in the past may no longer be considered old nowadays.’

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