A variety of studies have found that social interactions, personal relationships, having friends and family on whom you can rely, contribute to longer and healthier life. New and past research also find health benefits for people with a sense of purpose.
An August 2017 report in JAMA Psychiatry finds that people over 50 with a sense of purpose may be better able to maintain physical function as they age. Specifically, researchers looked at the grip strength of people over 50 with a heightened sense of purpose. They discovered these people were less likely to lose grip strength when shaking hands. They were also less likely to slow down their walking speed four years later.
In May 2014, a research article published in Sage Psychological Science found that adults with a sense of purpose in life are more likely to experience healthy aging and live longer than adults who do not.
Researchers have also discovered that residents of Loma Linda, California usually live considerably longer (eight to 10 years) than other Americans in part because most are Seventh-day Adventists and lead a life of service to their church and their community.
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