Basically, we have got a whole lot richer but no happier

sleep and bicycles

canada goose black friday sale “Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?” We learned this week that that cheap canada goose uk is one of four new questions being inserted into the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Household Survey as the UK’s official number crunchers try to assess the well being of Canada Goose Online the nation.

canada goose clearance sale The purpose of this exercise canada goose store is not to get Britain thinking happy thoughts as the axe falls: the determination to measure well being pre dates both the coalition and the age of austerity. The real point is to find a better way of measuring social progress than simply how much stuff we have got. There is a public consultation here.

canada goose coats The problem is exemplified by this graph comparing our Canada Goose online wealth with our stated level of life satisfaction. Basically, we have got a whole lot richer but no happier. Arguably, we have become more miserable.

Canada Goose Outlet Once we have agreed on a good way of measuring well being, the idea is that we buy canada goose jacket can then use it to shape our public policy. A paper published by the canada goose black friday sale ONS this week suggests that governments will need “detailed measurement of well being to show the costs and benefits of different allocation decisions”.

The research imagines how well being data might be used “for the ranking of canada goose options across very different policy domains” and “could canada goose coats be used to decide which forms of spending will canada goose uk outlet lead to the largest increases” in the nation’s happiness (they prefer the term subjective well being or SWB in the jargon).

Canada Goose sale Some research has already been done on how using well being rather than wealth might change policy decisions. Last week the think tank NEF (New Economics Foundation) published an excellent report “Measuring our progress: The power of well being” which included a few thoughts on exactly this.

canadian goose jacket Unemployment, particularly in men, has been shown to be very bad for canada goose factory sale well being. The NEF analysis suggests that its cheap Canada Goose impact is canada goose clearance sale so great that maximising happiness means that “minimising unemployment should be made even more of a priority canadian goose jacket than it already is”.

canada goose deals Some new areas for policy makers emerge from happiness research. A number of studies have Canada Goose Outlet shown strong correlations between well being and getting enough good quality sleep. The NEF research suggests canada goose coats on sale that sleep “could be given attention if promoting high well Canada Goose Jackets being were treated as the ultimate goal of policy”.

canada goose “While sleep quality seems a textbook case of a problem that can only be addressed in the private realm, former Harvard President Derek Bok has argued that the subjective well being evidence means that it should to be treated as a policy priority. He suggests actions to address it across the spheres of public education, medical canada goose clearance training, and research funding. through public health campaigns) would also result in improvements.”

Work and sleep then two areas that might benefit from a focus on well being. uk canada goose outlet But NEF buy canada goose jacket cheap come up with another bicycles. Before we get into the saddle on that, let us consider one of the strongest correlations between activity and happiness commuting.

canada goose store This graph, reproduced in the Young Canada Goose sale Foundation’s report last year “The State of Happiness”, sums up the research. The longer they commute, the more unhappy people are.

buy canada goose jacket cheap The NEF report takes this idea a bit further and suggests we should introduce policies to get us out of the car and onto the bike.

“A wealth of literature from researchers studying stress and related effects reveals ‘persistent and significant canada goose uk shop costs associated with a long commute through heavy traffic’. By contrast, studies comparing the experiences of commuting by bicycle and car report that cyclists find their mode of transport at least as flexible and convenient as those who use cars, with lower stress and greater feelings of freedom, relaxation and excitement.”

buy canada goose jacket A couple more graphs cited in the Young Foundation report hint at other areas where a well being agenda might shape policy.

That last graph is, perhaps, an advert for the Big Society while the previous one on inequality suggests progressive taxation is good for happiness.

As the Young Foundation put it: “Well being is not strongly associated with high pay in itself, although it is linked to earning more than people around you, an effect that decays over time. Increasing tax likewise can be seen as a transfer of well being. Shifting disposable income from the well off to the less well off, should equate to a small loss of well being canada goose from the wealthy and a big gain in well being by those on lower income.”

Canada Goose online One man’s happiness is another man’s tax demand.

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