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A Study in Smart Living

Published by Chapster on 2003/12/23 (2609 reads)
The following article is a transcript of the Community Focus segment that we do each month for KEOM 88.5FM in Mesquite, Texas. It was recorded at their studios on July 22, 2003. The Community Focus segment is alternated with other guests several times each month. The Community Focus segment is aired weekdays at 10:15AM, 2:15PM and 6:15PM. The program is hosted by Dr. James Griffin, the Station Director. The topic of Mike's segment this month is A Study in Smart Living.

Q:So, Mike, what are we talking about today?

A: Well, Dr. Griffin, I was scrounging around on the internet the other day trying to find information that might show what the relationship is between a sense of purpose and longevity. What I found was fascinating. In 2001, Long Island University completed a study in which 545 seniors between the ages of 80 and 100 answered a questionnaire that shed light on the values and lifestyles that they felt are important to their length of days.

Q: What did they find?

A: First, the majority of these elderly folks didn't feel elderly at all. Indeed, 72% felt that they were very independent. Certainly, when our society seeks to curb this sense of personal freedom, it generally has a negative effect. While some changes may have to be made as we age, we should do everything possible to encourage a sense of personal freedom.

When they were specifically asked to check all the things that they felt explained their old age, 66% felt that it came from an active lifestyle and 64% felt that it came from enjoying life. Other attitudes and behaviors that they felt contributed to their long lives were things like an active thought life, faith in God, good self care, and positive attitudes toward life and living.

Working with the elderly, I often see them dealing with adversity. The style with which centenarians handle adversity seems important in this study. When study participants were asked what they did "When I am feeling low or unhappy,"
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