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. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 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

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

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read