Personality, Metabolic Rate and Aerobic Capacity

Antonio Terracciano, Jennifer A. Schrack, Angelina R. Sutin, Wayne Chan, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Luigi Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Personality traits and cardiorespiratory fitness in older adults are reliable predictors of health and longevity. We examined the association between personality traits and energy expenditure at rest (basal metabolic rate) and during normal and maximal sustained walking. Personality traits and oxygen (VO2) consumption were assessed in 642 participants from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Results indicate that personality traits were mostly unrelated to resting metabolic rate and energy expenditure at normal walking pace. However, those who scored lower on neuroticism (r = -0.12) and higher on extraversion (r = 0.11), openness (r = 0.13), and conscientiousness (r = 0.09) had significantly higher energy expenditure at peak walking pace. In addition to greater aerobic capacity, individuals with a more resilient personality profile walked faster and were more efficient in that they required less energy per meter walked. The associations between personality and energy expenditure were not moderated by age or sex, but were in part explained by the proportion of fat mass. In conclusion, differences in personality may matter the most during more challenging activities that require cardiorespiratory fitness. These findings suggest potential pathways that link personality to health outcomes, such as obesity and longevity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere54746
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 30 2013

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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