In the News

Do optimists live longer?

Liz Blamire

24th August 2022

A recent study concluded that higher optimism in women was associated with longer lifespan and a greater likelihood of achieving exceptional longevity overall and across racial and ethnic groups.

This research - Optimism, lifestyle, and longevity in a racially diverse cohort of women - included almost 160,000 women and tracked their demographics, health information and lifespan, as well as assessing their levels of optimism through a self-reporting, validated measure.

The researchers did as much as they could to eliminate any bias from confounding factors such as education level, income, ethnicity and pre-existing mental health conditions.

So why do optimists live longer?

This is considered in this post on The Conversation - Do optimists really live longer? Here’s what the research says. It points out that optimists are:

  • More likely to adopt healthy lifestyles
    • Exercise more
    • Eat a balanced diet
    • Avoid smoking
  • Use adaptive coping mechanisms when faced with stress
    • Problem-solving
    • Looking for positives
Why Do Optimists Live Longer? The association between cardiovascular disease and optimism.

Liz Blamire

Liz is a former NHS midwife, who has worked in community, birth centre and acute hospital settings. Liz is an SSAT Accredited Lead Practitioner, who has taught Health and Social Care in FE and secondary schools, where she was a successful HOD. Liz is an experienced senior examiner and author and is the current tutor2u subject lead for Health and Social Care.

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