(HealthDay)—While personality has no effect on energy expenditure at rest or during normal walking, people with a more resilient personality expend more energy when walking quickly, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in PLOS ONE.
Antonio Terracciano, Ph.D., from the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the association between personality, oxygen consumption at rest, and oxygen consumption during normal and maximal sustained walking in 642 adults (31 to 96 years old).
The researchers found that there was little association between personality traits and oxygen consumption at rest or during normal walking. However, oxygen consumption was significantly higher at peak walking pace for those scoring lower for neuroticism and higher for extraversion, openness, and conscientiousness. These individuals also walked faster and more efficiently, requiring less energy per meter walked. The proportion of fat mass partially explained the association between personality and energy expenditure, while age and gender had little effect.
"In conclusion, differences in personality may matter the most during more challenging activities that require cardiorespiratory fitness," Terracciano and colleagues write. "These findings suggest potential pathways that link personality to health outcomes, such as obesity and longevity."