More to blue zones than long life: Positive psychological characteristics
AbstractBlue Zones are defined as regions of exceptional longevity. Emerging evidence also indicates the presence of several positive psychological characteristics amongst older inhabitants. No synthesis of this information is currently available. The current article focuses on psychological characteristics of successful ageing, including perceived wellbeing and cognitive health. Relevant findings concerning the Sardinian Blue Zone are reviewed along with an evidence suggesting links to the distinctive sociocultural environment of this region. People aged 65+ living in the Sardinian Blue Zone have substantially lower levels of depressive symptomatology, higher levels of selfperceived well-being and better subjective and objective cognitive health relative to matched control samples. These differences are robust, reliable and persist throughout late adulthood. Important determinants of the positive traits include increased active engagement in community religious and leisure activities. Sparse evidence for other Blue Zones exists but reduced levels of depression may be a shared attribute. Older Blue Zone Sardinians possess positive psychological characteristics, which are associated with successful ageing and are known to promote longevity. Blue Zone populations appear to be a valuable, but overlooked, resource for the study of positive aspects of ageing.
| 2018 Hitchcott et al REVIEW More to Blue Zones than long life.pdf
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