Outgoing people live longer
Life lessons, courtesy of the apes.
Confident, outgoing people who are socially engaged live longer lives. How can that be when the rest of us want so often to punch them in the face?
Yet, it’s true. A study from the University of Edinburgh newly affirms that personality is intertwined with physical well-being. This time, the evidence arrives courtesy of our genetic brethren, the apes.
More on MSN Living: Best sweater for your body type
As published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B and reported on LiveScience, animal experts familiar with some 298 apes from North American zoos and sanctuaries were asked to rate the animals on a set of personality traits including dominance, extroversion, neuroticism, and agreeableness. Researchers then compared the temperament assessments with information gleaned from over 18 years’ of data collected about the apes, including their life spans.
Of all the personality traits considered, only extroversion was linked to how long a gorilla was expected to live.
Researcher Alex Weiss was quoted by LiveScience as saying, “These findings highlight how understanding the natural history of personality is vital to ensuring the continued health and well-being of humans, gorillas and other great apes.”
More on MSN Living: 10 habits that keep marriages strong
What’s so great about them apes? Well, apparently these knuckle-draggers are on to something that only a commensurate number of humans have figured out. When we can find our way to being positive, curious, and socially interactive, our lives get not only better but longer. Mental health stands to be rewarded with, and mirrored by, physical health.
The CDC estimates the average life expectancy for Americans at 76.3 years for men and 81.1 years for women. Studies have noted that people who outlive the averages tend to be optimistic and easygoing. It may be that one set of underlying genetics has dual influence on personality and longevity, though we’ve also seen powerful indications that a good attitude paired with a close-knit group of family and friends can be fundamental to overcoming health challenges, including some genetic conditions.
With social graces come social support systems, a built-in network for caregiving, and reduced stress. There’s strength and safety in numbers, goes the living logic, and sociable people win the numbers game.
Photo: Paul Souders/Getty Images
Bing: World's oldest person dies.
inspire: live a better life
Here's some tips to get to happiness going forward in your life.
People 60 to 82 did best on cognitive tasks before 10:30am.
Lucille Ball was born in 1911, and though we lost her long ago, her legacy as America's favorite redhead lives on through the timeless classic, "I Love Lucy." People of all generations still enjoy Lucy's antics as much as they did over 60 years ago when the show first premiered.
Summer is coming to an end, and in a few weeks, kids will be forced to trade in their beach bags for backpacks. But just because the season is fading away doesn't mean the memories from the past few months have to disappear with it.
Confidence and perceived competence are key, study finds.
Features lead to assumptions about character, study says.
Great gear for an afternoon spent shoreside.
Read on for surefire strategies to boost your bliss.
Use these bucket-list ideas to enjoy the little time you have left.
Study points to benefits of improved living conditions.
Don’t leave home without these must-have items.
Handshakes spread 20 times more germs, study says.