Longevity Project Chapters 8 & 9

In chapter 8, I found it interesting that personality can be an indicator of whether someone is active or not. The book says that children who were more sociable and liked being in large groups generally grew up to be more active adults. This statement made a lot of sense to me because some people like to work out for the social aspect of meeting new people or having someone to talk to when exercising. The book also said that those who were more neurotic were less likely to be physically active as children and even more unlikely to remain physically active as adults. This statement also made a lot of sense to me because people who are very worrisome or anxious are typically scared to work out because they may get injured. Although personality is a huge factor of the likeliness of a person to exercise, I also believe that the likeliness of a person to exercise is based on internal drive. A person can have a neurotic personally, but they can be internally driven to work out based on a fear that they may inherit a preventable family illness such as diabetes. The Terman study fails to take into account other factors that differ from personality and the effect that it may have on a given hypothesis.

In Chapter 9, it wasn’t surprising that married people live longer lives. I was surprised that married men live longer and divorce is more harmful to a men’s health than women’s. This statement was surprising to me because I thought that divorce would be more harmful to women’s health because women tend to be more emotional than men. It was also interesting that prudent and responsible children were more likely to grow up to have a successful marriage. I found this statement slightly offensive because I feel like the book makes it seem like people who did not have these characteristics as a child will not have a successful marriages. Although this may not be the case, the book makes various claims that make it seem as though everyone who does not fit the characteristics the book lists will not live longer or be considered healthy. Another claim I found interesting was that happiness in couples is generally a sign of good health to come, but it is the man’s happiness that most especially predicts the couple’s later health. This statement is interesting because in my opinion both the man and woman’s happiness should predict the couple’s later health, instead of solely the man.

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