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

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

Cheryl Dill visits the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Talking jobs, tourism and business with Cheryl Dill in Parksville

Podcast: COVID-19 has far-reaching impacts on Vancouver Island

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Vandals strike in Parksville, prowler lurks in Nanoose Bay

Oceanside RCMP receive 276 complaints in one-week period

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read