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The Age When You're "Over the Hill" Is Not What You Thought, New Survey Says

You've peaked quite a bit younger than you previously believed, according to recent research.

Some people consider 40 to be the birthday when you're suddenly "over the hill"—figuring the lifespan of the average human is about 80 and it's the mid-life mark. Others say it's the big 5-0, when you reach the half-century milestone. But a new survey says you actually peak in life a bit earlier than you previously believed. The new survey, conducted by OnePoll and by commissioned by CBDfx, was published this week and it included 2,000 Americans, who were asked when the prime of one's life is. According to the respondents, it comes before you even reach your 40s. Read on to find out the exact age at which you "peak," according to the research, and for more on where people are the most content, check out The Happiest Country in the World, New Study Finds.

According to the OnePoll survey, 37 is the average age at which Americans peak.

woman drinking coffee and taking notes while wfh on the computer
Shutterstock/Jacob Lund

The survey results showed that, on average, Americans believe they peaked or will peak once they hit 37. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.7 years. If you were to divide that in half to find the "peak" of your life, that'd mean the average American climbs over the hill at 39.35 years old, which is too far off from the survey's results.

Many others believe they'll peak at 46.

middle age woman in her 40s smiling
pixelheadphoto digitalskillet / Shutterstock

While 37 was the age most commonly settled on as when life peaked, 34 percent of survey respondents don't think that they'll reach their peak until they're over the age of 46.

Additionally, large numbers of participants feel positive about their lives in the years ahead, age aside—a full two-thirds of those surveyed believed their best years were ahead of them.

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This past year has made many people reassess their lives.

old couple acting silly

Interestingly, while the difficulties of the last year with lockdowns, illness, and economic hardship have afflicted most of us, it also seems to have spurred many people to assess their lives differently: 61 percent of participants say that they had come to appreciate themselves more within the past year than ever before, while 39 percent believe that 2021, despite everything, is shaping up to be their peak year.

And for more to look forward to this year, check out 21 Things to Look Forward to in 2021.

The key is to think differently about success.

old couple cooking dinner together

Rather than traditional markers of success, the respondents primarily focused on things that made them feel fulfilled personally, as opposed to those that impressed other people. For example, 52 percent said that "increased financial stability" would feel like a measure of success rather than just being rich.

Large numbers also listed wellness goals as a measure of a successful year: these included achieving better physical health (56 percent), better mental health (46 percent), exercising more (45 percent), and maintaining a better diet (44 percent).

So while 37 might be the most common age for people to feel like they have peaked, ultimately it's in your hands. By focusing on what makes you happy, you can be at the prime of your life whatever your numerical age.

And speaking of peaking… This Is the Age When Sex Gets Great, Survey Says.

John Quinn
John Quinn is a London-based writer and editor who specializes in lifestyle topics. Read more
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