The test takes into account factors such as weight, the amount and intensity of exercise undertaken, cholesterol, eating habits, levels of happiness and alcohol consumption. And it can reveal a very different picture to a chronological age. A 30 year old, for example, can have the health age of a 50 year old, or older, dependent on their lifestyle choices.
TAKE THE TEST HERE TO LEARN YOUR BODY AGE
For example, a 30-year-old woman who is 5'4" tall, weighs a healthy 9st (57kg), exercises at a medium-high intensity four times a week, eats a good diet and drinks seven units of alcohol a week, has a body age of 30. Take out the exercise and this jumps to 32. Add 10 cigarettes a day and 20 units of alcohol a week (around two bottles of wine) and this rises again to 35.
The 'Vitality Age Calculator', as it is called, also reveals the measures that could reduce your reduced body age.
Sports stars, for example, are testament to the fact that a healthy lifestyle can knock years off the ageing process. Former athlete Lord Sebastian Coe, 57, has a vitality age of 54, while 27-year-old Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis scored just 23 when she took the test. Developed by PruHealth, it is based on an algorithm derived from an analysis of over 5,000 studies relating to death, and was developed in conjunction with leading academics.
The research found that the biggest factors which pushed up body age were a lack of physical activity and being overweight.
And to make matters worse, two thirds of the study participants were in denial, believing they were in good or excellent health, despite showing two or more risk factors that could have increased their chances of getting a life-shortening disease.
Because of this denial, people aren't making lifestyle choices that could reduce their risk of heart attack, stroke or diabetes, such as quitting smoking, eating a better diet or taking up exercise.
The study found that 69% of smokers refused to give up and 64% of people were unwilling to change their eating habits. Nearly one in five were overweight and the same amount had high blood pressure.
By taking small steps today can dramatically improve wellbeing over the long-term, regardless of your current state of health, and truly understanding the implications of your choices is the first step."