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Does having a purpose make you healthier?
Does having a purpose make you healthier?

Does having a purpose make you healthier?

Tuesday, September 12, 2023


As an adult, your life is likely overwhelming you with purpose. Raising children, showing your spouse you care, coming through at work, and so on, so on and so on.  


Then suddenly, the day you have worked for all your life arrives, and you retire. Hello, freedom.  


Time to golf, fish, read, watch TV, whatever you want to do and none of the other stuff.  


Of course, there is a catch.  


A growing collection of research shows that idling away your time is not good for your health. A 2019 JAMA Study associates having a purpose with living longer and less heart, circulatory and blood conditions.  


To be clear, things typically defined as purpose include:

- Connection to family and friends - Volunteering - Continuing to learn new things

- Completing a life-long dream, i.e., biking across your state, writing a book

To go further, it is not so much the purpose that leads to better health but following through on it. The purpose can motivate you, but interacting with loved ones, learning new skills and participating in hobbies will force you to be active and engage. You know the saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”


Want more encouragement? One study on the National Institutes of Health website shares having a purpose can decrease your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. If you do have Alzheimer’s disease, another study on the National Institutes of Health website reveals having a purpose can reduce the effects of the disease.  


So, when you finally make it to retirement. Enjoy your time, do what you want and make sure you keep moving, learning and interacting.


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Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.