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If you want to know how happy we are, ask often

Wellbeing measures are robust and useful; how can we improve them further to help organisations create the conditions that really improve people’s lives in a sustainable way?  In our Measuring Wellbeing series we share the ideas of leaders in the field of wellbeing measurement. You can read a counter-argument in defence of using a single measure to determine overall life satisfaction in Richard Layard’s Discussion paper A Common Currency Today we publish a new discussion series paper, that sets out the views of Paul Dolan, Laura Kudrna and Stefano Testoni on the importance of ‘in the moment’ wellbeing and...

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How are we feeling as a nation one year on from the EU referendum?

Chris Randall, Quality of Life, Office for National Statistics, shares the latest data, published today, on wellbeing since the EU referendum. Since 2011, we have asked personal wellbeing questions to adults in the UK.  This provides insight into people’s feelings about their lives and surroundings which economic statistics (such as GDP) alone do not provide. It is hoped such information supports better decision making among policy-makers, individuals, communities, businesses and civil society. Today’s figures, the first to be based on a full year of data since the EU referendum, show small increases in how people in the UK rate...

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Does clean air make you happy?

Sarah Knight, pHD student at the University of York and Data Impact Fellow for the UK Data Service, shares her findings from earlier this year, and our Director, Nancy Hey, places them into the wider policy context. We are just beginning to understand how the natural and physical environment impacts our quality of life. Recent research has shown that exposure and proximity to natural places, such as green and blue spaces, weather, and biodiversity all impact our overall well-being. But how much value do we put on environmental features relative to other factors that affect our quality of life? In...

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Third sector perspective: life satisfaction, communities, and golden noses

As part of our focus on community and third sector organisations, we hear from Spirit of 2012 Chief Executive Debbie Lye about how they have evaluated wellbeing as part of the funding and support they give to community organisations across the UK.  You can read Spirit of 2012’s report in detail here Earlier this year, a pop-up shop in one of Hull’s city centre arcades opened for business. In its window, attracting passers-by, was a golden nose. On offer inside was the chance for ‘customers’ (there was no financial transaction) to create their own nose-masks, cast from a mould of...

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Commuting and employee wellbeing

Edited on 27 October 2017 to replace the graph showing mean average effects after readers reported confusion, and  also add more information about the Understanding Society survey. Kiron Chatterjee and Ben Clark of the Centre for Transport & Society at UWE Bristol explain the findings from their ESRC study of Commuting and Wellbeing. Many of us spend longer commuting to work than we would like and find our journeys stressful, but how detrimental is commuting to our wellbeing? The journey to and from work is a routine activity undertaken on about 160 days of the year by those who are...

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Credible evidence for better decisions, to improve lives

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