We’d like to share a infographic about a recent study that suggests older people who feel their life is meaningful are more likely to live longer.
A new report from the University College London (UCL) and two universities in the United States has established a link between longevity and wellbeing. The study was published as part of a series on aging where researchers examined the role of a condition called ‘eudemonic wellbeing’ in helping people live longer.
“Eudemonic wellbeing” relates to how a person feels about the purpose and meaning of their life. The study suggests good health gives people a sense of wellbeing and in addition, people who believe their life is meaningful usually have better health.
Of the people included in the study, researchers found that people who felt their life had meaning were 30% less likely to die over the study period, living on average two years longer than those in the lowest wellbeing group. “We found happiness is associated with a lower risk of death,” says Professor Andrew Steptoe, director of the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, who led the study.
“These analyses show the meaningfulness and sense of purpose that older people have in their lives are also related to survival. We cannot be sure that higher wellbeing necessarily causes lower risk of death, since the relationship may not be causal. But the findings raise the intriguing possibility that increasing wellbeing could help to improve physical health.”
Experts recommend that people should practice good habits and stay active as they enter old age. It’s also important that they maintain social activities and foster relationships with others.
Age UK, the largest charity in the United Kingdom that helps older people lead independent lives, agrees with the study. An Age UK spokesperson said, “older people who have a positive attitude to aging tend to have better health and live longer than those who only see the negative aspects of getting older.”
Read the story here.