Time. It’s the one thing we can never get more of. The minutes, hours, and days seem to fly by, and there’s no slowing it down or turning back the clocks.
What would you be willing to do if you could stay young for your entire life? If you could avoid pains in your back (or knees and hips), vision loss, and those silver and gray hairs?
We surveyed over 2,000 people in the United States to find out exactly what they’d do to stay young for life. From eating cockroaches to giving up true love, our survey respondents told us what they believe would be worth doing to drink from the fountain of lifelong youth. Read on to see what we discovered.
What’s It Worth To You?
Youth isn’t just about age. Staying young means being fit and active – both physically and sexually. So what would you be willing to forego to gain the holy grail of youth?
Overwhelmingly, respondents told us they would give up their favorite foods, especially to be physically fit for life. The struggle to maintain the perfect figure – to make sure those skinny jeans always fit or that you’re never scrambling to get ready for beach season – is challenging and requires commitment. Depending on what you like to eat, however, maybe giving up some of your favorite foods would get the job done.
Respondents were also willing to give up their phones and pets, in that order, to be young, fit, and sexually active for life. These days it seems like we’re all glued to our smartphones, whether the time is right or not, so giving them up for youth, figure, and sexual prowess might have serious benefits. We can’t say the same for being willing to give up Fido, though.
Fewer people were willing to give up the internet, sex, or their friends and family. In the end, life would be pretty boring without those things.
FoR THE SAKE OF YOUTH
What would you be willing to do to drink from the elixir of lifelong youth? Almost 35 percent of those we surveyed said that they would be willing to jump out of a plane.
We hope they meant with a parachute attached – lifelong youth may have its advantages,
but it doesn’t include
Slightly more shocking, nearly 33 percent told us they would be willing to eat 100 cockroaches to stay young for life. We didn’t specify if they’d be alive at the time of consumption or not, but when you’re talking about eating 100 cockroaches, the specifics aren’t really important, right?
Surprisingly, participants were less willing to give up all technology or become celibate to stay young. Maybe life just isn’t worth living, with lifelong youth or otherwise, without certain pleasures and modern amenities. Thankfully, less than 7 percent of survey respondents suggested they’d be willing to go without showering for the rest of their lives if it meant having lifelong youth.
Priorities, by Gender
Men and women don’t always agree on what’s most important in life. The same is true for the extreme actions they’d be willing to take to earn youth for life. Men, overwhelmingly, were more likely to eat 100 cockroaches (over 45 percent), while women were more inclined to become celibate (nearly 17 percent). Celibacy doesn’t look so bad after learning your partner has eaten 100 insects for dinner.
However, both genders agreed that jumping out of an airplane would be a worthy risk, while giving up the ability to hear, see, or walk might not be a fair trade-off. Less than 4 percent of men and women agreed to each of those terms.
What’s More Important?
Next, we asked participants to rank what really mattered to them against the temptation of being young for life. When asked about maintaining their youth or landing their dream job, 55 percent of participants said they’d rather land a dream job than be young forever. Practical!
When given a choice to be attractive and maintain a youthful age for life, or to be the smartest person in the world and age normally, 58 percent said they’d take the brains. Participants were even less willing to give up true love or their families for youth – proving that some things are more important than being young. In fact, of all the scenarios we presented, participants only opted to take the lifelong youth over winning the lottery.
When we broke down participants who told us they’d be interested in swimming in the fountain of youth by region, the Northeast had the highest positive response at around 75 percent. All that cold weather may be wearing them down because they were more inclined than any other part of the U.S. to want to maintain their youth for life.
The West had the lowest percentage of positive responses, with less than 71 percent admitting they’d want to stay young forever.
Youthful Desires, by Industry
Considering that more respondents preferred their dream job to the secret of lifelong youth, we decided to look at which industries would actually pass up a dream job to be young forever. Those in legal were the least likely to turn down their dream job for lifelong youth (around 28 percent).
Respondents in industries like government and public administration, education, and science were also the least tempted by the promise of youthful bliss over their dream careers. However,
those in information services and data processing, and construction and utilities were more likely to take lifelong youth over their dream job.
We also looked at respondents’ answers by relationship status. Almost 79 percent of single respondents told us they wanted to be young forever. At the same time, roughly 74 percent of respondents who were in a relationship told us they wanted to preserve their youth, while only 68 percent of married respondents expressed an interest in maintaining their youth. Research has shown that being married can actually be good for your mental and physical health, so marriage could be its own form of youthfulness.
Interestingly, more than 76 percent of married respondents told us they were willing to give up true love to stay young for life. Only 63 percent of respondents who identified as single were willing to forgo finding their perfect someone, and 67 percent of divorced or separated respondents would give up on finding true love if it meant lifelong youth.
While some were willing to give up their spouses (or the chance to find a spouse), very few were willing to give up their families.
Fewer than 6 percent of married participants said they would let their families go, and less
than 12 percent of those in a relationship, and those divorced or separated indicated they’d
be willing to consider trading their families for permanent youth.
Youthful Desires, by Age
By age, survey respondents aged 18 to 29 were the most interested in staying young forever. Almost 76 percent said they would choose youth for life given a chance.
Noticeably, respondents became generally less interested in lifelong youth as they aged.
Less than 64 percent of respondents aged 70 or older were interested in turning back the clock.
Maybe they’ve realized something about the benefits of growing old that the rest of our
respondents haven’t had the time to figure out yet.
Youthful Desires, by Generation
When we looked at our results by generation, baby boomers were the most willing to become celibate, give up their dream jobs, become unattractive, and give up on finding true love for eternal youth.
Gen Xers were a little more daring in their responses. They were the most likely to give up technology, get Botox (if it was free), live beneath the poverty line, or lose the ability to taste if it meant they could be young for the rest of their lives.
Millennials, on the other hand, were the most willing to go the distance for lifelong youth. They
were the most likely to chop off a finger, eat 100 cockroaches, give up the ability to hear, see, or walk, and they even indicated that they’d be willing to give up their families if
it meant not aging. Hopefully, no one shares this survey with their mother.
The Final Verdict
What would you be willing to do if you could be young your entire life? Surprisingly, not everyone we polled was interested in lifelong youth, but for those who were (especially younger generations), there wasn’t much they weren’t willing to do to be young.
Aging doesn’t mean you have to yearn for magic potions or sacred water. If you’re experiencing
signs of growing older – like reduced energy, hair loss, or weight gain – you may
have a hormone imbalance that can be treated with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Visit
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shouldn't have to do anything dramatic to feel youthful, no matter your age.
We surveyed over 2,000 people in the United States to find out what they would do for lifelong youth.
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