The days of feeling over the hill at 50, 60 or even 70 are long gone. For old age now doesn't begin until you're 76, research suggests.

Today's typical over-50 feels at least four years younger than their actual age, with one in four feeling ten years younger thanks to improved health.

Better diets and more exercise have contributed to a fitter older generation, according to a survey.

One in five over-50s exercise more now than they did when they were younger, while at least half admit to being more careful about what they eat and drink as they age.


Losing independence is the biggest worry for those approaching old age - which starts at 76, according to the survey of almost 1,200 men and women over 50 for the retailer Argos.

Almost a third said they worried about one day needing help to get around, while 12 per cent did not want to face a time when they could no longer exercise.

Argos spokesman Amy Whidburn said: "More people than ever want to stay healthy and fit for as long as possible so they are active and taking steps to look after themselves."