Swiss men aspire to live to 108.5 years old

The coronavirus pandemic appears not to have dampened people's longevity aspirations. Keystone / Ettore Ferrari

Swiss men have targeted an ideal lifespan of 108.5 years, while women are content with an average of 93.4 years of life. A survey of 2,000 people by the health insurer Sanitas found that many people are making changes to their lifestyle to secure a longer life.

This content was published on June 17, 2020 - 17:00
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Two thirds of respondents said they are physically active and eat healthy food while more than half refrain from smoking and a fifth abstain from alcohol.

The “Health Forecast” survey, which aims to come out annually, found that 40% of people currently use an app to monitor their health.  More than a quarter of respondents would employ blood and DNA tests to determine optimal nutritional supplements and other tailor-made fitness measures.

Young men, in the 18-29 age range, appear keener than anyone else to actively boost their health and fitness levels. A third of male respondents in this age group (compared to 20% of all ages and genders) would consider ‘biohacking’ – a buzzword that involves enhancing health via diet, exercise, wearables and sometimes implants, such a microchips, or genetic engineering.

Only half as many women in this age group said they would be prepared to go to such lengths.

The survey also reveals more detail on attitudes to genetic science. Some 58% support gene therapy to treat cancer, 54% are in favour of gene diagnostics to diagnose hereditary diseases and 44% welcome prenatal screenings.

But three-quarters of respondents said this science should stop short of active intervention by altering genes or producing clones.

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