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Longevity Project

…Find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all.” – Robert Louis Stevenson


Every summer Local 6 has a few social activities that are meant to bring the membership together. 2016 is no different except this year we did a quick search on the internet and found that not only were our activities good for our morale, they could actually prolong our lives five to ten years.

The science has been rock solid on this since 2011, when the Longevity Project study appeared. Of course there are many factors involved. Here is a link to an interview on NPR’s Talk of The Nation about The Longevity Project. The test subjects in the study were 1500 middle class white boys and girls who were interviewed for eight decades of their lives starting in the 1920s.

“We saw again and again that social connections and social ties really were important. People who had more frequent contacts with friends and family, whether that be through work or other venues, they actually really benefited from that.” – Leslie Martin, Ph.D., co-author of The Longevity Project

Not to be too judgmental, but if you smoke or drink the study says all bets are off. So those of you planning on getting plastered at the picnic—actually I take that back—the Longevity Project says being a planful person is one of the traits of someone who lives a long life, so maybe you’re safe.

There I go thinking about who is safe and not safe! The good thing is my safety concerns mean I might be risk averse, which can also be a benefit when living a long life, according to the study.

“Some degree of worrying actually is good,” says Howard S. Friedman, Ph.D., co-author of The Longevity Project. “Prudent, persistent, planful people, both in childhood, and young adult hood, that was the strongest personality predictor of long life. They stayed healthier, lived longer. It wasn’t just that they avoided risks, they developed better social relationships, did better in their work, accomplished more, lived a life that led to them thriving.”

The study also said that people do change, so if you don’t remember yourself as being a particularly prudent, persistent, and planful child, there is still hope. And if nothing else, that’s what Local 6 social activities can offer all of us, hope.

So hopefully we’ll see you at our upcoming Local 6 social activities which include the Life Member Luncheon, Local 6 Golf Tournament, Labor Day Picnic, and Union Baseball Night with the SF Giants.

Live long and prosper.


PS. If you’d like to see how your current personality fares in comparison to the test subjects, there is a Longevity Project personality survey you can take.

PPS. If you have any suggestions for Local 6 social activities, like a STAR TREK MOVIE NIGHT (see my Live long and prosper reference), let the officers at Local 6 know.