Chapter 8 explores the common conception that exercise leads to longer and healthier lives. While this is true, what makes the statement true is having consistency with exercising. Furthermore, there are other external factors, like having a healthy diet, that affects longevity. The net benefit of exercising might also be very minimal compared to the time and effort put into longer exercises if the individual is not a fan of the workouts. However, what is interesting to exercising for longer amounts of periods consistently is one’s discipline to maintaining that schedule. Those with higher conscientiousness were more likely to stick with it, especially if they enjoyed exercising. For me, I can relate this to the personal project we are doing in class. Since my project is to increase my aerobic activity, I have chosen an activity that I enjoy: running. I feel more committed to accomplishing my weekly goals and feel great after my runs.
Chapter 9 examines marital status and longevity among 4 groups broken down by gender: steadily married, divorced (single), divorced (remarried), and single. It was shown that males that were divorced were more likely to die at an earlier age, even the remarried ones. This might have bene due to stress from divorce. The single men outlived the remarried and divorced groups, but not the steadily married men, the longest living of them all. With females, the married showed living somewhat of a longer life. Being divorced didn’t have as much of an impact on them as it did for the males for mortality risk. Parental divorce, but more so personality, were indicators of marital success. The study also evaluated commonalities between similar interests and sexual satisfaction between the spouses. Through this, it was found that the husband’s happiness mattered more in determining the happiness of each individual.
While the results of these topics are interesting, I wonder if they still hold true today. Mentioned on page 124, sometimes the results of these studies become outdated. For example, same sex marriage is legal in many countries in the world and the rates for these marriages are increasing. If the marriage is same sex, then how does a “lack of a husband or wife” affect the spouses’ happiness? Should the husband and wife roles be rewritten to based on the role characteristics? Or should we just discredit the study and say it does not pertain to today’s society anymore?