The Suit That Makes You Feel 75 Years Old

By Veronique Greenwood | January 3, 2012 1:22 pm

suit
And reeeach for the shredded wheat…

Pregnancy suit, meet age suit. Just as scientists in Japan made a suit full of balloons, warm water, and accelerometers to give men a sense of what pregnancy feels like, scientists at MIT have put together a suit that simulates being in one’s mid-70s. But it’s a little easier to see the applications with this one. By 2030, 20% of the American population will be over the age of 65, and if you think these folks are going to willingly weather a world designed by and for hyperactive 26-year-old yoga enthusiasts, well, you’ve got another thing coming. By putting on this suit, architects, store designers, and other professionals preoccupied with how people interact with the physical world can get a sense of what old age is like, and design accordingly.

And what does old age feel like? According to the folks at MIT’s Age Lab, where the suit was developed, like having giant rubber bands keeping your limbs from fully extending, braces that make your arms stiff, a helmet that makes your spine curve uncomfortably, and glasses that make small print hard to read, among other impairments. Just watch the video below of students creaking around a grocery store trying to pick up elder-friendly items like low-fat and low-sugar food, and you’ll sense right away how much flexibility and ease of movement will be taken from you as you age.

It kind of makes your heart sink to see how hard it becomes to pull down a bottle of juice from the shelf. Me, I’m going for a Neuromancer-style upload to the matrix, stat.

MORE ABOUT: age suit, aging, AGNES, MIT
  • http://stevenmaturin.myopenid.com/ Your Name

    Old people who do yoga area lot more likely to remain mobile and flexible than are those who don’t. It’s not just for 26 year olds.

    • Your Name

      The writing says that the elderly will not want a world catered to people who are both 26 and who do yoga, it says nothing of people who aren’t 26 and also do yoga. You’re arguing a point that nobody has made.

      • Justin Sovine

        He’s arguing that age is independent of mobility and fitness. Which is completely true. Most effects we’d associate with aging are simply a result of neglect.

        Take cars for example, say two people buy the exact same car years ago. One of them is rusted and has all sorts of problems around the board. The other is in very good condition, and is certainly not ready to be trashed anytime soon. Both are old cars, however. One car had regular maintenance, the other did not, and even went as far as doing things that were known to cause damage (i.e. power breaking, off-roading, etc).

        Apply the above analogy to our bodies and you have a more accurate approximation of what will happen to your own, years down the road. 

        • Guest

          age is not independent of mobility, there is a direct correlation as when age increases, mobility generally decreases. The rate at which this occurs may depend on this “maintenance” however this will occur regardless…. unless you master telemorase….

        • IwouldRatherNot

          These are some amazing ageist ideas.

        • Pleaseno

          Man, people are so stupid to grow old.  All they have to do is get their annual maintenance and the natural process of aging won’t happen.

    • Poop

      You’re right, it’s for faggots.

  • Habsonbabs
  • Jim Strathmeyer

    Who knew I was supposed to be living a life of constant deterioration? Sounds like the same people who think everyone gets fatter as they get older. They forgot to also give subjects to make them dumber and want to leech off everyone.

    • Bob Cumbers

      Its called entropy…everything breaks down over time; including you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/RusticMachine Ian Drake

        Haven’t you heard? He’s found the fountain of youth….

  • Michael

    It’s not realistic until you have a welfare simulator and a scripted phone call telling you your pension won’t be enough to survive so you’ll have to work as a janitor in a high school until you die.

  • Anonymous

    “By putting on this suit, architects, store designers, and other professionals preoccupied the how people interact with the physical world with can get a sense of old age is like, and design accordingly.” Holy crap, proof read much?

    • dildofaggins

      maybe the editor was wearing one of those suits.

  • Anonymous

    The suit would be really revolutionary if it made you complain about all the blacks moving into your neighborhood.  

    http://bit.ly/n35fra

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=761645161 Winnie Liang

    Why don’t you just ask old people?

  • Guest

    Typo in the first paragraph: ”
    you’ve got another THINK coming.”

    Ed: Fixed. Tnx.

    • GreekChorus

      I hope it’s a typo.

  • Mb Alexander

    Society should promote going to the gym instead of making everything so easy.

    • Sparkling

      SO you are suggesting that by going to the gym you can avoid getting old? What a naive thing to say. Good luck with that!

      • TheCritic

        Well…

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skRb-oND3qA 

        He said fuck being old, I like his attitude better than I like your superiority complex.

      • Justin Sovine

        That’s because you’re associating age with a lack of functional mobility. There are 90 year olds running marathons, and 40 year olds using walkers (my 70 year old Grandmother is 100s of times healthier than my Step-dad was when he was 40). General fitness and health levels are almost completely independent of age.

        I feel the point of these studies are to help us understand how to accommodate unfortunate elderly rather than point out how everyone is going to be half-cripple eventually, which is not true.

        • Pleaseno

          You’re right, when you see an old person with poor mobility, it’s definitely their fault, getting old is a curable malady.

  • http://twitter.com/robbwolf Robb Wolf

    Well, there is aging and then there is aging:
    http://www.arthurdevany.com/

  • mail

    if you dont spend your whole life eating shitty food and drinking high fructose corn syrup at every turn, excercise at least weekly, and take an active interest in your own well being, then when you are 75 you will still feel like a younger person.

  • yikes

    the term is “another think coming” not “thing”

    • noone

      since when?

      • itsleviosa

        um since the term came about? another think makes absolutley no sense at all

        • Anonymous

          In the context used in the article “another think coming” is the proper phrase.  It is a common phrase and it is often mistaken with “another thing coming”.

      • Anonymous

        In the context used in the article “another think coming” is the proper phrase.  It is a common phrase and it is often mistaken with “another thing coming”.

    • http://studygre.org/ Study GRE

      LOL, that is so utterly wrong it makes me sad.

      • Devon77

        He’s completely right actually

        • Anonymous

          @study GRE needs to do some more studying.  They don’t appear to be as smart as they probably think they are.

      • Anonymous

        In the context used in the article “another think coming” is the proper phrase.  It is a common phrase and it is often mistaken with “another thing coming”.

  • http://www.bigtransformation.com/ Bigtransformation

    I want a Hugh Hefner simulation suit!

  • http://goo.gl/7Yaiu http://goo.gl/7Yaiu

    the big deal is in the link above, my buddy’s ex-wife makes $76 an hour on the laptop.Follow the instructions at Online Income Solution and set up your account..

  • CURIOUS

    so will someone older than 70 years old benefit from this suit then? 

  • Rose BH

    I learned all this at 27 when I was diagnosed with cancer and spent nearly a year on aggressive chemotherapy. Now in my 50s I’m being reminded of it again by the arthritis which was caused by the chemo. It ain’t no joke, believe me!

    • Anonymous

      LOL!

      Oh, sorry, I thought you were joking.

  • Michael

    That may apply to the US but my mom from Germany and many others from other countries, do not have stiffness and fatigue at 70. My mom is like a 50 year old at 70 and looks 50. Nice idea though.

  • matthew

    Exactly who are these hyperactive 26-year-old yoga enthusiasts who also designed the world around us?

    Wasn’t it these old people who themselves designed the world when they were younger?

  • Zxgriffin

    wont wearing this suit for 10 years ensure yourself to live 10 years longer?.. i mean its the same idea as a weighted vest for thin people right? such a useless device because cant humans just workout.. furthermore we all feel old once in a great while anyway.. who wants to feel their fate.. if they make it

  • Brumeresmith

    My 84 year old will be happy to hear this news! We wishes he were 75 again!

  • http://ow.ly/80foE Click&Make $100 a day online!

    Looks so uncomfortable!

  • Guest1

    You accidentally a word. Second paragraph, in the sentence after “And what does old age feel like?”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmy-TheFish/100000139595167 Jimmy TheFish

    I wonder how my 86 year old grandfather would like a suit to make him feel 11 years younger. HAH

    • Bob

      yeah! just make a reverse suit!

  • Raposa

    This is a wonderful idea. It is a way of gaining knowledge and empowerment for a good cause, be it for the elderly or younger people with physical problems due to health issues, disease or life changing accidents.
    Some situations are out of our hands and we are dealt with a card which doesn’t allow some people to live their lives to full a potential, it isn’t about laziness.I don’t understand why some people are making comments about the grammar and spelling, you’re wasting time and good energy. Focus on to possibilities of such research rather than being negative. 

  • TDParr

    Any one of us, regardless of our present fitness levels, are just one accident away from needing the environmental modifications that are promoted by this research. Why not have environments that support the needs of all people? Then each of us, despite age or physical limitations, can remain active and contributing members of society. Those offering ageist comments need to understand their attitudes create cultural barriers to elders living a valued life!  

  • mike050972

    yes vey good –we are all aging

  • a one day old woman

     So glad some of you youngsters have it figured out. I hope it works out for you, the whole “body maintenance” theory. Yes, exercise is good & helpful & should NEVER be ignored. Some older people thrive with it (to a certain point), some do not, regardless of effort. That being said..The car was used as a reference point. OK, fine. Here’s one for you to mull over. Sometimes stuff just breaks & no longer works anymore! No matter how much you exercise it & work to maintain it. You can maintain anything to a certain point. Sooner or later it simply wears out & has to be replaced. Sometimes machines simply require new parts.That can’t always be done for our bodies & the ignorant posts of a few here are a clear telltale that those posters are too young to know what they’re even talking about. I guess when your car breaks down, the washer goes on the fritz, it’s because you did a bad job taking care of it. No matter that parts simply wore out from AGE, AND WEAR! Have fun with your ignorance today because wisdom has a way of catching up with you & making you feel foolish!

    • Pendragging

       “..aahh, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now”-The Byrds

      When I was young, I knew everything, too. It’s amazing how much of it was wrong.
      How does this suit simulate the physical pain associated with advanced age?

  • abalonestar

    Those of you who believe that the effects of aging we see are “simply a result of neglect” are indulging in denial. While eating right, watching your weight, and exercising can help offset the effects of aging, nevertheless you will age and there are consequences in that.  

  • http://www.sinemabiz.com/ film izle

    That may apply to the US but my mom from Germany and many others from other countries, do not have stiffness and fatigue at 70. My mom is like a 50 year old at 70 and looks 50. Nice idea though.

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