The secret to a long life? Organisation

Organised people live longer

As most of us head back to work today, why not add ‘be more organised’ to your New Year’s resolution list – after all, it could help you live longer, according to new research.

Organised, conscientious and ambitious people live longer than those who are reckless and impulsive, a study has found.

The study, conducted by the University of California, found that the diary-keepers and ‘to do’ list-makers amongst us can live up to four years longer.

‘Not only do conscientious individuals have better health habits and less risk-taking, but they also [have] more stable jobs and marriages and may even have a biological predisposition toward good health,’ said Howard Friedman, professor of psychology at the university.

One of the reasons the super-organised live longer is that leading a calm and stable life means they are less likely to drink and smoke.

But what if you’re more of a spur-of-the-moment person? Well, according to the study, it’s not too late to change.

‘There is some evidence that people can become more conscientious, especially as they enter stable jobs or good marriages,’ said assistant Margaret Kern. ‘We think our findings can challenge people to think about their lives and what may result from the actions they do.’

‘Even though conscientiousness cannot be changed in the short term, improvements can emerge over the long run as individuals enter responsible relationships, careers and associations.’

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