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07 November 2017

Wellbeing rose in the year following the EU referendum, according to the latest ONS statistics.  There were increases in life satisfaction, happiness and the extent to which people felt the things they do in their life were worthwhile, for the year to June 2017 compared to the year to June 2016.  The increases were in England rather than the other UK nations (although the UK average went up as a result).  The results were based on interviews with 100,000 adult UK residents.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41893598
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/bulletins/measuringnationalwellbeing/july2016tojune2017

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14 August 2017

People are happier if they experience emotions they desire, according to research by an international team of researchers, studying 2,300 university students from the United States, Brazil, China, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Poland and Singapore.  They study found that 10% of people wanted to feel negative emotions such as hatred and anger (these were the only negative emotions studied) and had greater life satisfaction if they were able to do so.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40900811

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24 July 2017

Happiness is increased more by time than material goods, according to a study by researchers from Canada, the US and the Netherlands which included a survey of 6,000 adults from four countries and an experiment where 60 working adults in Vancouver were asked over one week to spend £30 ($40) on things that would save them time and the next week on material goods.  The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/money-buy-happiness-cleaner-cook-gardener-time-stress-a7857731.html
(25/07/17) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40703519
(25/07/17) http://www.pnas.org/content/114/32/8523

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02 May 2017

Schools are cutting mental health services because of funding pressures, according to a joint report by the Health and Education select committees.  There was concern about social media, which had the potential to both harm and help wellbeing.
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/02/schools-mental-health-services-funding-gaps-mps-report
Press release and link to the report: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-committee/news-parliament-20151/report-children-young-adults-mental-health-16-17/

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26 April 2017

Seated exercises improved physical function in 12-14 weeks for 60% of participants in a pilot run by the Royal Voluntary Service and exercise specialists Move It Or Lose It.  The pilot involved 60 people aged over 60.  The chair-based exercises were delivered by volunteers and staff who had received two days training.  Many of the participants also said they felt less lonely and unhappy after the pilot.
(Rgn) https://www.nursingtimes.net/7017457.article

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21 April 2017

The latest ONS wellbeing statistics show no major changes in the last year. Self-reported anxiety has improved slightly in Northern Ireland but got slightly worse in England.
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/bulletins/measuringnationalwellbeing/jantodec2016

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19 April 2017

UK teenagers had a below average score for life satisfaction, in an OECD survey of 540,000 students in 48 countries.  The UK average score was 7 compared to the overall average of 7.3, on a 10 point scale.  The UK was in 38th place for life satisfaction.  24% from the UK said they were victims of an act of bullying at least a few times a month with 15% saying they were made fun of and 5% that they were hit or pushed.  The UK students were competitive in school, with 90% saying they wanted to be the best in whatever they did, compared to 65% across all the countries.  72% said they felt anxious before a test, even if well prepared, the third highest country in the survey.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-39628723
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/19/british-teenagers-competitive-bullied-schools-anxiety

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15 April 2017

Problem gamblers are significantly less happy than others, according to research based on an analysis of 10,000 adult gamblers presented to the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference.  Subjective scores of happiness on a 10 point scale produced an average of 6.25 for the gamblers compared to 7.95 for others.  If this was judged in terms of the additional income that would be required to bridge the difference, the cost would be equivalent to about £30bn a year.  About 0.7% of adults, or about a third of a million people, are classified as problem gamblers.
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/15/uk-problem-gambling-toll-happiness-wellbeing-30bn-pounds

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13 April 2017

A quarter of young women in the UK report some mental health problems according to the latest overview by the ONS of existing statistics on the wellbeing of people aged 16-24.  There appear to be a mix of changes, some positive and some negative.  The proportion of young people reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression increased from 18% in 2009-10 to 21% in 2013-14 with a greater proportion of young women than young men reporting this.  The proportion of young people saying they find it difficult to get by financially fell from 15% in 2009-10 to 7% in 2014-15, but the proportion living in households at risk of poverty increased from 19% in 2008 to 25% in 2015.  Overall satisfaction with health has improved with the gap between men and women narrowing.
(14/04/17) https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/14/one-in-four-young-women-in-uk-report-mental-health-issues-study-shows
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/articles/youngpeopleswellbeingandpersonalfinance/2017

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12 April 2017

Green space produced a calming, as well as other, effects on people aged over 65 in research in which eight people wore a portable EEG head-set while walking between busy and green urban spaces.  There were changing levels of ‘excitement’, ‘engagement’ and ‘frustration’.  They were part of a wider sample of 95 people over the age of 65 who were studied.  The study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/316881.php
http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/2/151

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09 April 2017

The more time that 10-15 year olds spend on social networks, the less satisfied they are with other aspects of their lives except friendships, according to research from the University of Sheffield, to be presented at the Royal Economic Society annual conference.  It was based on data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study between 2010 and 2014.  Spending an hour a day on social networks affected happiness with the rest of life three times as much as being in a single parent household and was larger than the effect of playing truant.
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/09/social-networks–children-chat-feel-less-happy-facebook-instagram-whatsapp
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2886783.

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06 April 2017

The latest ONS report on national wellbeing shows some improvements, with 15 indicators having improved over the previous year, 18 having stayed the same and two deteriorated.
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/articles/measuringnationalwellbeing/apr2017

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24 March 2017

PHE’s Workplace Wellbeing Charter has been evaluated by the Rand Corporation.  Public Health England set the standards for the Charter in June 2014.  Rand identified a number of benefits that had come out of it, but lack of robust data meant it was not possible to definitively attribute improvements to the Charter.
http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1661.html

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20 March 2017

The UN’s World Happiness Report shows Norway as the happiest country in the world, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland.  Based on scores from 0 to 10, the lowest placed country, the Central African Republic averages 2.69 while Norway scores 7.54.  The UK was 19th.  It also looks at other factors impacting on wellbeing such as GDP, social support, life expectancy, freedom of choice, generosity and perceived corruption.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-39325206

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08 March 2017

Girls were less positive about being in care than boys, with 25% of girls in care being unhappy with their lives compared to 14% for all girls, according to research from Bristol University and the charity Coram Voice, based on a survey of 611 children from six local authority areas.  Almost a third of 11-18 year olds said they were allocated three or more different social workers within a year.  Half of 4-7 year olds and over a quarter of teenagers said they did not fully understand why they were in care.  Of all respondents, 83% said that being in care had improved their lives and 90% said they trusted their carers.
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/08/girls-in-care-more-negative-about-their-future-than-boys
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2017/march/our-lives.html
http://www.coramvoice.org.uk/professional-zone/news/83-looked-after-children-say-being-care-has-improved-their-lives-girls-report

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06 March 2017

Inequality of happiness is highest in Wales of the UK countries, according to research based on ONS data from 160,000 people, by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, supported by the New Economics Foundation.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-39174530
https://whatworkswellbeing.org/2017/03/06/the-hidden-happiness-gap-in-our-communities/

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08 February 2017

Being creative and ‘open’ boosts wellbeing in later life, according to a report by Age UK, based on data from 15,000 people aged 60 and over and using a wellbeing index developed by Age UK and the University of Southampton.
http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/764196/Cultural-activities-help-ageing-people-feel-good
(16/02/17) http://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-press/being-creative-and-open-boosts-wellbeing-in-later-life/

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06 February 2017

Almost two thirds of 10 and 11 year olds say they worry ‘all the time’, according to a survey of 700 children in the final year of primary school, in 20 schools, by charity Place2Be.  The top concerns were family wellbeing (54%), well-being of friends (48%) and school work (41%).  The most common coping strategies were talking to family members (72%) or friends (65%), with 65% of boys saying they played computer games to calm themselves (compared to 39% of girls).
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-38861155

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