When Do We Reach Peak Life Satisfaction? And Peak Math Skills?
If you're over the age of 25, you've probably missed your chance at becoming a champion ice skater (sorry!). Thanks to various studies, we have a good idea of when certain skills and physical capabilities—like muscle strength and facial recognition abilities—peak. So we know that while your skating days may be behind you, you can likely still look forward to your peak vocabulary (which is achieved at 71). Business Insider has compiled this information into a timeline.
The timeline shows that, while your ability to learn a new language peaks around age 7, there are plenty of milestones that you’ll reach at an older age. Both men’s and women’s satisfaction with their bodies peaks after age 70, and 50-year-olds are best at arithmetic. You may not be able to process information quite as quickly as an 18-year-old, but once you hit your 40s, you'll be better at reading other people's emotions.
Here are a couple highlights of when you peak in regard to certain skills and accomplishments, based on average data:
Remembering new names: 22
Muscle strength: 25
Elite marathon running: 28
Bone mass: 30
Playing chess: 31
Learning new faces: 32
Making a Nobel-Prize-winning discovery: 40
Vocabulary: late 60s - early 70s
Psychological well-being: 82
Note, however, that these data all come from different sources, and some are more reliable than others. The tidbit about marathon runners—the average age to complete a marathon in around two hours—came from an analysis of 50 years of data. The peak ages for doing arithmetic and knowing vocabulary words both come from a study of 48,500 people. Meanwhile, Business Insider’s data point on the best age to marry—26—comes from a mathematical calculation on how many romantic options you can screen before all your prospective mates get married and drop out of the dating pool.
Read Business Insider’s full list here.