People who have a sense of purpose in life appear to live longer, according to the latest research linking this outlook to a person’s quality of life and to better physical and mental health.
The authors of the study published in the journal JAMA Network Open looked at data collected from 6,985 adults who were signed up to the Health and Retirement Study on people ages 50 and above in the U.S. The team looked at a group who completed a questionnaire in 2006 about their purpose in life, and used it to come up with a score. On average, the participants were 68.6 years old. Next, the scientists looked at causes of death in the group between 2006 and 2010. Variables, including their demographic, marital status, race and education level. Lifestyle choices like smoking and drinking were also noted.
Purpose was defined by the authors as a self-organizing life aim that stimulates goals, promotes healthy behaviors and gives meaning to life.
Excerpted from Newsweek