In 1921, Louis Terman identified 1,500 bright young boys and girls who had scored high on the new IQ test. Some are still alive and they have been studied as to which traits enabled them to live to such old ages. The concept of conscientiousness turns out to be the most important life trait linked to longevity. A conscientious person is pragmatic, they are engaged in helping other humans and think ahead in order to identify what is going to happen in their lives. As for “working themselves to death,” it turns out those who work hard, even later in life live longer. They are not necessarily a happy, cheerful person, but prefer confronting issues and finding solutions. The Terman group is physically active late in life.
The most important conclusion of the Terman study is to do things that provide meaning for you whether it be an occupation or a hobby. It was not the amount of physical exercise that mattered as much as enjoying an activity.