What really influences happiness? If you answered things like the people around you, the work you do, and the experiences you share, you’d be right - but there are also other factors that can have a surprising influence on your happiness.
Our team spent months reviewing data to figure out what makes people tick. Specifically, we looked at how the following factors impact health and happiness:
- Physical activity
- Alcohol and tobacco use
- Mood-altering drugs
How Did We Do it?
In order to pull the Annual Data Review together, we reviewed de-identified responses to the Wellsource WellSuite® IV Health Risk Assessment. All of the data used were submitted between September 1, 2017, and August 31, 2018, from working adults aged 18-85 years old.
What Did We Find?
Some of our findings may not be too shocking - for example, people who get 7-8 hours of sleep per night are generally happier than people who get more or less sleep. That makes sense since a well-rested individual is better equipped to navigate their daily tasks than those who are either sleep deprived or who are getting too much sleep due to mental or physical health issues that are zapping their energy.
Interestingly, however, we also found that those who sit on average 2 hours less per day than their longer-seated counterparts are happier. Individuals who are more sedentary (i.e.: sit for 8.5 or more hours per day or who don’t meet physical activity requirements) are more likely to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder than those who are up and about more throughout the day.
Similarly, longer periods of being seated throughout the day are linked to anxiety. And that’s before we even start getting into the specific data related to exercise and physical activity!
We also found that diet and nutrition can play a big role in happiness. The occasional treat could add a bit of pep to your step even after the most trying of days, but we found that the happiest individuals are those who regularly eat at least two servings of fruit per day. So if you’re looking to boost your happiness, try eating a crisp apple instead of crunchy chips.
Click below to get a copy of the report. You’ll see what other small lifestyle tweaks could have a big impact on your overall happiness.