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Openness to Experience and Your Health

June 5, 2023
2 minutes
Evidation Highlights
Insights

Many researchers generally agree that personality is made up of 5 unique traits: 

  • Conscientiousness (organization, productiveness, responsibility)
  • Extraversion (sociability, assertiveness; its opposite is Introversion)
  • Agreeableness (compassion, respectfulness, trust in others)
  • Openness (intellectual curiosity and creative imagination)
  • Neuroticism (tendencies toward anxiety and depression)

Some people may have very high or low levels of a trait, but most of us fall somewhere in-between. 

What is openness?

Openness describes how intellectually curious, imaginative, and appreciative of art and beauty someone is.

  • Those with high levels of openness are generally open to new activities and ideas. They tend to be creative, curious, and sensitive to art and beauty. 
  • Those with low levels of openness tend to be traditional, practical, and like to stick with conventional ways of doing things. They prefer the familiar over the new, and the concrete over the abstract. 

Why does openness matter for health and health decision-making?

Although openness doesn’t strongly or consistently relate to health, people can still use their understanding of their level of openness to change their health behaviors and make them more likely to stick.

We recently offered our members the opportunity to take a survey to see where they fall on the spectrum for openness. If you’re an Evidation Member who took the survey and received your openness results, read on to understand what a high or low score may mean for your health. If you’re not a member and want to see results like these, download the Evidation app.

I scored high on openness. What could this mean for my health?

If you’re high in openness, and thus enjoy exploring new activities and ideas, you may be more motivated to stick with a varied physical activity schedule than a familiar routine. 

If you have a hard time turning healthy behaviors, like exercise, into habits, try adding variety. For example you may try… 

  • Going for a walk at a new spot
  • Creating a new music playlist to run to
  • Signing up for an exciting race you need to train for 

Finding new ways to fulfill your intellectual interests–like music, art, or something else–may also help boost your well-being. You may find these hobbies to be especially helpful when you’re feeling stressed.

I scored low on openness. What could this mean for my health?

If you scored low in openness, you may find it easier to stick with familiar exercise routines or healthy recipes than it is to try new ones. 

If you haven’t found healthy behaviors that work for you, try a few out until you find one you like, and make it a habit, such as…

  • Making a healthy taco dinner every Tuesday
  • Aiming to walk with a friend every day at the same time 
  • Going to the same evening yoga class each week

Though personality traits are only one small part of your health and well-being, learning more about yourself may help you to find healthy routines and behaviors that stick. 

Want to receive more personalized health insights? Complete cards daily in the Evidation app and, if you haven’t already, connect a compatible health app. 

Don’t yet have an Evidation account? Download the app today!

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