I’ve been reading about a longevity study that followed 1500 people for the past eighty years. The results reveal this unusual secret to living longer and it isn’t what you would expect. If you are like me, you probably think of all the typical things that doctors say have a long term effect on lifespan; healthy diet, active lifestyle, marriage and spirituality. I suppose those things are important too but studies indicate that a “conscientious” person who follows through with responsibilities and lives in a careful, consistent manner is more likely to live a long time.
Read more about Dr Terman’s study in this article by Barbara Murphy
Study Reveals this Unusual Secret about Living Longer
What is the single most important factor enabling an individual to live a long life?
The answer is not any of the usual suspects — eating well, sleeping well, exercising, going to church, or getting married.
The answer is “conscientiousness,” according to researchers who were involved in the “Terman study,” which followed the lives of 1,500 people for 80 years.
In their book, “The Longevity Project,” which traces the work begun by Dr. Lewis Terman in 1921, Dr. Howard S. Friedman and Dr. Leslie R. Martin write that while it is very important to live a healthy active life, the thing that will enable to you to live the longest is “conscientiousness,” which they describe as “the qualities of a prudent, persistent, well-organized person, like a scientist-professor — somewhat obsessive and not at all care-free.”
When Dr. Terman began his project, he selected “bright” children to participate because at the time he was interested in finding out whether potential leads to achievement. Dr. Terman attempted to measure the intellectual, volitional, moral, emotional, aesthetic, physical and social functioning of each child. As the years passed, Dr. Terman realized his study not only predicted achievement but also isolated factors leading to longevity.
Dr. Terman died in 1951, but his work was carried on by other researchers who nicknamed themselves the Termanators.
A long life is something to be treasured but the most important thing is to get the most out each and every day. I feel that life is like a puzzle and so many different pieces effect the whole picture. Do your best each day to live a balanced life and you’ll never regret it.