‘Psychology and Aging’, has published an interesting study conducted by the German Centre of Gerontology. The study analyzed 5,039 participants, age 40 and older, over a 3-year period. The study began with a survey asking the question “How much of the perceived stress in people’s lives effected their functional health – how much were limited in daily activities such as walking, dressing, etc. The second question was “How old do you feel”, subjective age not actual age.
The researchers found that on average, the participants who had reported the most stress had a steady decline in functional health, over the 3-year period. However, the subjective age seemed to provide a protective barrier against stress in those who felt younger than their actual age, over the same period. The researches are quoted “Our findings support the role of stress as a risk factor for health declining, as well as the health-supporting and stress-buffering of a younger subjective age.”