That’s just one of the surprising conclusions reached by health scientists Howard S. Friedman and Leslie R. Martin, authors of The Longevity Project. What’s even more surprising is that having a sustained work life correlates with living longer, even if the work you do is stressful.
Here's a short video of the authors explaining the scope of the Project:
The book is filled with lots of other interesting, counter-intuitive tidbits about what sorts of behaviors increase longevity and it's well worth a read.
Still, the authors’ findings about work disturbed me. I’m all for staying active and remaining on the job if your work gives you pleasure and a sense of purpose. But I worry that books like this one and, dare I say, Defying Gravity, have the unintended effect of making people feel guilty about wanting to slow down and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Besides, when did a long life become a goal in itself?
I don’t particularly care how old I am when I die. What I care about is trying to make the world a better place and enjoying myself while I’m at it.
What about you?