Live Your Life with Purpose

Live LongerHealthDay News


THURSDAY, May 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- You may live longer if you feel you have a purpose in life, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 6,000 people who were asked if they felt they had a purpose in life and about their relations with others. The participants were then followed for 14 years. During that time, about 9 percent of them died.

Those who died during the follow-up had reported feeling less purpose in life and having fewer positive relationships than the survivors, according to the study published recently in the journal Psychological Science.

Having greater purpose in life was also associated with lower risk of death in younger, middle-aged and older adults. This consistency across all age groups came as a surprise to the investigators.

"There are a lot of reasons to believe that being purposeful might help protect older adults more so than younger ones," lead researcher Patrick Hill, of Carleton University in Canada, said in a journal news release.

"For instance, adults might need a sense of direction more, after they have left the workplace and lost that source for organizing their daily events. In addition, older adults are more likely to face [death] risks than younger adults," he explained.

The results could be used to help promote healthy aging, according to the researchers.

"Our findings point to the fact that finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose," Hill said. "So the earlier someone comes to a direction for life, the earlier these protective effects may be able to occur."

SOURCES: Psychological Science, news release, May 8, 2014

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Published: May 2014

ADVERTISEMENT

How the Coronavirus Spreads Through the Air: 5 Essential Reads

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given confusing guidance on how COVID-19 spreads through airborne particles; here are the facts.

Science and Technology

Pregnancy During a Pandemic: the Stress of COVID-19 on Pregnant Women and New Mothers Is Showing

The pandemic has dramatically changed the pregnancy experience and the U.S. may have 500,000 fewer births as a result.

Pregnancy & Postpartum