A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)

Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Being happy and being healthy are closely connected, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

Those with higher life satisfaction are often healthier in both body and mind, have a better chance at a good night’s sleep and face less chronic pain.

Lead Dr. Eric Kim studied 12,998 U.S. adults older than 50 for a four-year period. He analyzed their life-fulfillment levels as well as their health.

Findings – published in The Milbank Quarterly on Feb. 2reveal those satisfied with their lives have a 26 per cent reduced risk of dying, among other positive health outcomes:

  • A 46 per cent reduction in risk of depression
  • A 25 per cent reduction in risk of physical limitation
  • The risk of chronic pain has been reduced by 12 per cent
  • A 14 per cent reduction in risk of developing sleep disorders
  • 8 per cent more likely to have frequent physical activity

Also found in those most satisfied was a heightened sense of optimism, purpose, and mastery with a reduced chance of feeling hopeless or lonely.

MORE: Men who had ‘F’ school grades see same leadership prospects as women who got ‘As’: B.C. study

“Life satisfaction is a person’s evaluation of his or her own life based on factors that they deem most relevant,” explained Kim, assistant professor in UBC’s psychology department.

While shaped by genetics, social factors and changing life circumstances Kim said life satisfaction can be improved on both the individual level and collectively, on a national level.

As such, the psychologist thinks policymakers should consider life satisfaction when seeking to maximize the health of a populous.

“It is in the interest of policymakers’ election and reelection campaigns to consider how life satisfaction can be improved,” Kim concluded. “Our policymakers have a rare and excellent opportunity to pursue well-being for all in the post-pandemic world.”

Especially, as nations “reevaluate their priorities in light of the widespread change caused by COVID-19.”

ALSO READ: The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

HealthHealth and wellness

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

A black bear tries to get at a bird feeder at a home near Williams Lake. (Laura Ulrich photo)
Managing bear attractants a top priority in B.C. for 2021: Conservation Officer Service

Garbage, fruit trees, bird feeders, compost and livestock are common attractants for bears

B.C. Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon. (B.C. Cattlemen’s Association photo)
COVID, BSE, water access and private land rights: B.C. Cattlemen’s general manager weighs in

Kevin Boon said positive aspect of pandemic is more people interested in where their food comes from

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The board is planning a 2021 festival no matter the conditions, they are going to make it work! (BCMF directors Buddy Thatcher (from left), Kristen Boulier, Rose Clark, Jeff Gray, Corissa McNeilly and Jayme Kennedy (front), and her hair. (photo submitted)
Bella Coola Music Festival planning on 2021 fest

The BCMF is planning for a 2021 festival on July 17 and 18, however it may look.

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 total

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Observers ‘gutted’ as pair filmed removing red dresses hung along B.C. highway

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Indigenous Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

A grey whale off the coast of Vancouver Island is being monitored by Canadian and U.S. researchers, as it has developed lesions after being tagged last year. To try and prevent systemic infection from developing, the team administered antibiotics to the whale on March 31 and April 1. (Photo from the NOAA Fisheries website)
Grey whale off Vancouver Island develops lesions after being tagged, researchers monitor its condition

Canadian and U.S. whale experts administered antibiotics to the animal on March 31, April 1

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a box containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots

These are not typical blood clots – they’re weird in two ways

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Most Read