Study leader Antonio Terracciano of Florida State University College of Medicine and colleagues studied the relationship between personality, metabolic rate and aerobic capacity.
"We tested implicit assumptions that individuals with certain personality dispositions have different metabolic and energetic profiles," Terracciano said in a statement. "For example, do those who are assertive and bold expend more energy? Do those who are depressed or emotionally vulnerable have a lower aerobic capacity and less energy? And do conscientious individuals with an active and healthy lifestyle have more energy?"
The answer, on all counts, appeared to be yes, Terracciano said.
The study, published in PLOS ONE, indicated a person's basic rate of metabolism was mostly unrelated to their personality traits, but a resilient personality profile made a difference when it came to aerobic capacity or maximal sustained energy expenditure.
The study involved 642 participants, ages 31-96, who were part of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging.
The study subjects' energy expenditure was tested at rest and at normal and maximal sustained walking speeds.
Those identified as more neurotic required a longer time to complete the walking task and had lower aerobic capacity, the study said.
Conversely, those who scored lower for neuroticism and higher for conscientiousness, extraversion or openness had better aerobic capacity and required less energy to complete the same distance, Terracciano said.