Data from the long-running Hawaii Longitudinal Study of Personality and Health, including new surveys of a diverse group of 749 people with an average age of 60, has found that people who have a sense of purpose in their life tend to make healthier lifestyle choices and report feeling better about their own health status.
These associations held even when controlling for the Big Five personality traits, indicating that the health benefits associated with sense of purpose cannot be fully attributable to broad personality traits. They suggest that having a purpose in life can be viewed as a multifaceted construct that influences both self-regulatory capacity and specific behaviors, such as physical activity, sleep quality, diet, and self-care.
(2017). A purposeful lifestyle is a healthful lifestyle: Linking sense of purpose to self-rated health through multiple health behaviors:.
Journal of Health Psychology.