Are you acting your age?

Posted on December 15, 2010


The Washington Post printed a test titled, “Are you acting your age?”  Here is some of it:

Test 1: For one minute, count how many words you can say beginning with the letter “F.”  Follow that with “A” then with “S.”  Add them up.  No pronouns, no repeats, no variations on the same word.

People ages 50-59 averaged 42 words. 60-69 38.5 words. 70-79 35 words. 80s 29 words.

Test 2: For 30 seconds, march in place, eyes closed.  Then open your eyes and see if you have moved from your original position.  (If you have moved more than 20 feet, you have a way more serious issue than memory loss.)

Test 3: Look at the following shopping list:

            2 slices veal

            1 lb ham

            1 salami

            3 oz gorgonzola

            1 lb rice

            1 lb tomatoes

            2 lettuce

            3 oz prunes

            2 cups cherries

            1 bottle water

            1 lb sugar

            4 sandwiches

            10 bus tickets

            1 box matches

            3 white envelopes

            1 box cookies

            1 bottle dish soap

            1 quart milk

            2 turkey thighs

            1 newspaper 

Study the list for 5 minutes. Cover the list and see how many items you can write down in 5 minutes.

60-80 year olds recalled 9 items.  20-35 averaged 14 items.

Test 4: Time how long it takes to stand from a seated position, walk eight feet, turn around, walk back to the starting point and sit down.

Ages 60-64 took 3.8-5.6 seconds.  80-84 5.2-7.6 seconds.

Test 5: Balance on one foot, eyes closed. Right-handed folk, raise the left foot, lefties raise the right foot, about six inches off the floor, bending the knee at a 45 degree angle.  Then start the timer.  As soon as you sway, open your eyes or touch the floor, stop the clock. Do this test three times and average your score. 

50 year olds should aim to balance for 9 seconds.  60 year olds 7 seconds. 70 year olds, 4 seconds.

Test 6: How far can you walk in six minutes?  Life in the Boomer Lane can walk to the refrigerator because she’s tired of this test.