"The Longevity Project," a new book based on a 90-year study started by a Stanford University psychologist, debunks myths about what it takes to live a long, long time. (Hint: Gardening may be just as good for you as jogging.)

If you want to live a long time, turns out you don't have to be happy, be stressfree or retire early. "The Longevity Project," a new book based on a 90-year-long study started by a Stanford University psychologist, debunks myths about what it takes to live a long, long time.


Here are a few points from the book, highlighted by a USA Today story:




Being accomplished and satisfied with life is a better predictor of living to old age than being happy and carefree.

Being active in middle age and older is important, so choose something you enjoy, such as gardening or walking.

Having a vibrant career -- and not retiring early -- are important.

Here are a few ideas to localize the story:


Find older people in your community to see if they fit the character traits of those shown in the study. You can check senior homes, but also look for people who are still involved -- on your town council or chamber of commerce.


Ask a few medical professionals if they think the findings make sense in light of what they've experienced.


Ask psychologists if the study corresponds to current thought in mental health.


Ask readers of any age for their reactions in a callout, poll or question on your Facebook page.