A recent article in the Washington Post describes the study, which observed 97,000 women over eight years. It examined how participants' attitudes affected their health outcomes.
The study found that optimists were 9 percent less likely to develop heart disease. Participants who exhibited what the journal called "cynical hostility" were 16 percent more likely to die during the span of the study than their more positive counterparts. The question is, why? In the end, the study's authors couldn't say for sure. There are just too many variables at work.
While I can't prove that optimism always leads to good health, I do believe that better health makes people happier. And in the corporate world, that means higher productivity and lower rates of absenteeism, among other things. Viewed in that light, corporate wellness programs are not a luxury--they are a necessity.
As you read the Post article, be sure to leave your comments below. I'd love to hear your views.