All work and no play might make Jack a dull boy - but it will help him live longer.
For the secret to a long life is to be conscientious, scientists claimed yesterday. Diligent, industrious and emotionally stable people live up to four years longer than those who are slapdash and complacent, according to their report.
Co-author Margaret Kern told New Scientist magazine: 'These individuals are hardworking, resourceful, confident and ambitious.'
The findings add to growing evidence that links our health with our temperament.
Dr Howard Friedman, of the University of California, Riverside, led the study into the personality and lifespan of 8,900 people. He said: 'Highly conscientious people live on average two to four years longer. There is evidence for several sorts of reasons. Conscientious folks are less likely to smoke, drink to excess or take too many risk. But it is also true that conscientious folks lead life patterns that are more stable and less stressful. '
'Finally, there is evidence that biological factors are relevant, affecting both personality and health.'
Dr Friedman pooled the results of 20 studies comparing length of life with a standard psychological test before publishing the findings in the journal Health Psychology.
People who were the least conscientious were 50 per cent more likely to die at any given age than those who scored highly.
Source - Daily Mail