Interest in stage-and age structured models has recently increased because they can describe quantitative traits such as size that are left out of age-only demography. Available methods for the analysis of effects of vital rates on lifespan in stage-structured models have not been widely applied because they are hard to use and interpret, and tools for age and stage structured populations are missing. We present easily interpretable expressions for the sensitivities and elasticities of life expectancy to vital rates in age-stage models, and illustrate their application with two biological examples. Much of our approach relies on trading of time and mortality risk in one stage for time and risk in others. Our approach contributes to the new framework of the study of age- and stage-structured biodemography.