- The study, conducted over 4 years on nearly 13,000 adults over the age of 50, showed that happiness is associated with greater satisfaction with life, which reduces the risk of death by 26% and depression by 46%.
- Even people who say they are satisfied with their life are less likely to have sleep problems, chronic pain, and regular physical activity.
What if happiness lived longer and was in good health?
It was conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (Canada) on a sample of 12,998 American adult representatives over the age of 50. Participants were asked to rate their life as well as their health on their own. They were then followed for four years, during which time they regularly answered questionnaires about their physical, behavioral and mental social health and well-being.
26% reduction in mortality risk
“Life satisfaction is when a person evaluates their own life based on the factors they consider most relevant, Dr. Eric Kim is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at UBC and the lead author of the study. Although life satisfaction is shaped by genetics, social factors, and changing living conditions, it also improves at the individual and collective levels nationally. “
The results are impressive. They show that greater satisfaction is associated with a 26% reduction in the risk of death, a 46% reduction in the risk of depression and a 25% reduction in the risk of limiting physical activity. Those who say they are happy have a 12% lower risk of developing chronic pain and a 14% lower risk of sleep problems. They often have an 8% probability of engaging in physical activity and generally exhibit better mental well-being based on a number of indicators such as positive impact, optimism, purpose in life and mastery.
For Dr. Kim, “The results of this study show that policy makers should always take into account that life satisfaction is a valuable goal Improve physical health results, Psychological and behavioral at the political level “. He noted that he decided to examine the data period because the evolution of life satisfaction levels is an important determinant of electoral behavior. Election cycles take place every four years in many countries, including the United States.
“Thinking about how to improve life satisfaction is the interest of election campaigns and the re-election of policy makers.”, Concluded Dr. Kim.