A seminal 1997 article* in The Gerontologist reshaped the way many think about Exceptional Living. In the article, Drs Rowe and Kahn argue that Excpetional Living results from the intersection of three specific dimensions. The first of these is maintaining good health, and the second is continuing to do the things we want while staying active and keeping a sharp mind.
The third dimension is key
The third dimension is revolutionary and has propelled the understanding of Exceptional Living to a new level. Rowe and Kahn call it, "Engagement with Life -- continued social and occupational engagement."
They found that people who aged most successfully also stayed actively engaged on two distinct levels: social engagement, which involves spending time with family and friends, and meeting new people; and occupational engagement, which means spending time doing productive and meaningful things.
A new paradigm
In other words, retirement should be a time to ramp up activity, not to slow down and take it easy. This new idea dovetailed with the findings of other experts who cited the importance of the Seven Dimensions of Wellness -- social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual and physical.
*The Gerontologist (1997) 37 (4): 433-440. doi: 10.1093/geront/37.4.433
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We believe in a healthier and happier world through our choices. Finding solutions to today’s challenges and making it easier to choose the best ones is our passion.
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