The developed world is bearing witness to a 21st century miracle – the real possibility of living well to the age of 100 and beyond. Compelling scientific evidence indicates that living long and living well is most realistic for those who adopt healthy behaviors, are financially secure, and are socially engaged.

THE SIGHTLINES PROJECT investigates how well Americans are doing in each of these three areas over historical time. We assessed the number of Americans who are meeting expert recommendations for healthy living, financial security, and social engagement. These results are intended to stir national debate, guide policy development, stimulate entrepreneurial innovation, and encourage personal choices that enhance independent, 100-year lives.

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Change over historical time in % Americans who are doing well in healthy living, financial security and social engagement across six different age groups; dashed lines represent 5 percentage point change which we classified as significant.

SIGHTLINES DIRECTOR’S POST

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE SIGHTLINES PROJECT?

I am the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity’s Sightlines project. I was trained as a research psychologist specializing in culture, aging, and well-being. The goal of Sightlines aligned perfectly with my own research aims: to understand how Americans stack up in terms of overall wellness. The project specifically targets facets of well-being that are known to predict longevity and that are malleable. This aspect of the project was especially

appealing to my sensibilities as a psychologist –the idea that we could figure out what aspect of Americans’ lives were in most need of intervention and actually do something about it. To do so, we need to consider both the characteristics of individuals and the big picture. This is exactly what our Sightlines team has set out to accomplish.

There is a considerable amount of research demonstrating that Americans, relative to other cultural groups (particularly those from East Asian countries) are more likely to engage in analytic thinking.1 2

Imagine if you will, a fish. We can study its specific characteristics: the sheen of its scales, the texture of its fins, the size of its tail. This approach involves focusing in on the fish irrespective of context. In contrast, a holistic style of thinking involves zooming out to see the bigger picture… Read more

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TAMARA SIMS, PhD
DIRECTOR OF THE SIGHTLINES PROJECT

SIGHTLINES IN THE NEWS

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The Sightlines Project was made possible by the generous support of the following sponsors:

Bank of America Merrill Lynch | Prudential | Society of Actuaries | Transamerica | James A. Johnson

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