Sense of purpose 'adds years to life'

Posted on May 22, 2014

Having a sense of purpose may add years to your life, regardless of what the purpose is, research suggests.

Not only does it contribute to healthy aging, but it may also stave off early death, according to a study of 7,000 Americans.

It may be because purposeful people look after their health better and are physically fitter, they believe.

The study tracked the physical and mental health of more than 7,000 US adults aged 20 to 75 years.

When followed up 14 years later, the researchers found purposeful people had outlived their counterparts, even when controlling for other factors such as negative mood.

Furthermore, the added years did not appear to depend on the person's age, or whether or not they had retired from work. In other words, having a purpose in life appears to be good for you across the adult years, the researchers say.

Category(s):Aging & Geriatric Issues

Source material from BBC