Month: December 2016

Happy holidays!

All of us here at the What Works Centre for Wellbeing would like to wish you happy holidays with health, happiness and wellbeing for the new year! We’ve had a great year and you’ve helped us grow in reach to thousands of people. Thank you. Aside from co-hosting a range of conferences and workshops, in 2016 we launched our first systematic review and measuring wellbeing discussion paper. We’re looking forward to an exciting 2016: more systematic reviews focussed on the different wellbeing impacts of work, learning, community, sport and culture. We will also be publishing more discussion papers and practical guides for policy makers and practitioners. Follow us to keep updated on our events and publications as dates are announced. All the best from the What Works Wellbeing...

Read More

Can there be ‘common currency’ to measure wellbeing?

To introduce the Centre’s new Measuring Wellbeing series, our head of evidence and analysis explores the approach set out in our first discussion paper by Prof. Richard Layard on measuring wellbeing and cost effectiveness using subjective wellbeing. If we want to increase society’s wellbeing, should we build new houses or encourage community choirs? How can we compare the wellbeing benefits of a new crime prevention initiative with an antenatal care programme? Professor Richard Layard, from the Centre for Economic Performance at the LSE, presents an eloquent, albeit contested, answer. He proposes that we could decide between options by comparing their impact on life satisfaction (on a scale of 0-10), as measured by the Office of National Statistics. Programmes should evaluate their effectiveness, using good quality evaluations, by assessing their impact on life satisfaction. Or, if we already know the impact of a programme on a measure such as the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, or job satisfaction, we could convert these to life satisfaction. We may not have precise models to be able to use as an exact exchange rate,  but we can get an indication by by looking at correlation between the measures when they have both been asked in another survey*. Ultimately, Professor Layard sets out that policies should be converted to life satisfaction. They can then be compared based on their potential increase to life satisfaction for a given...

Read More

What can wellbeing tell us about food safety?

Before diving into the great blog below, why not read our latest review of evidence of what works with music and singing for people with diagnosed conditions or dementia? It’s a follow-up to our review last month of what works for healthy adults. Just go to Music, singing and wellbeing page to read more. This month we’ll likely be tucking into festive foods, and spending time with loved ones. (Or avoiding everyone and everything!) Here, we have a guest blog about the relationship between food and wellbeing from Charlotte Owen, researcher at the Food Standards Agency – and former researcher Edward Eaton – responsible for managing the FSA’s flagship biennial consumer survey, Food and You. As a founding partner of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is interested in the concept of wellbeing and how it can help the FSA in its work to protect consumers and represent their interests. As a result, the FSA introduced four ONS-harmonised measures of wellbeing in its flagship consumer survey, Food and You, which was conducted in 2014. These measures take the form of a 0-10 point scale, with questions about life satisfaction, life being worthwhile, happiness, and anxiety. We looked at how wellbeing relates to one of the FSA’s key priorities: domestic food safety. As far as we were aware, no studies to date had looked at the issue of wellbeing in relation...

Read More

Recent Tweets