The longest, most comprehensive study ever done on aging by the Harvard Study of Adult Development has turned up some unexpected results. The study, which began in the 1930s, examined more than 800 men and women from adolescence into old age. The purpose of the research is to find clues to the participants’ behaviors that translate into happy and healthy longevity.
George Vaillant, MD, director of the Harvard study and senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, states that, “I had expected that the longevity of your parents, the quality of your childhood, and your cholesterol levels would be very influential. So I was very surprised that these particular variables weren’t more important than they were.”
Another commonly held belief regarding aging well has typically included avoiding stress. However, the results from the study indicate that stressful events did not predict future health and that some people who have had a lot of stress have aged quite well despite it. The important thing seems to be how well you deal with the stress.
The Harvard study also found that genetics may not play as big of a role in how well we age as do things such as not smoking or overeating, maintaining a healthy body weight, and developing good coping skills. Exercising, keeping good social connections, and being a life-long learner are additionally all precursors to a healthy longevity. If fact the overriding conclusion of the study appears to be that we have more control over our longevity that we may have thought in the past.
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The unique mission statement of MorningStar of Sparks, “to honor, to serve, to invest,” sets us apart from other senior living communities. Our foundation is built upon honoring God, valuing all seniors, and investing in staff with a felt calling to serve. Dedicated to creating a real home for residents within a beautiful setting, we encourage you to learn more about the finest senior living Reno/Sparks has to offer.