As much as we might spend half our lives chasing a pay rise, it turns out that it’s all been for nothing. Well, not quite nothing, because we can’t pay the bills with sunshine and laughter, but now, it seems there are things that affect our happiness more than our income.
A new study commissioned by Sainsbury’s and developed by Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research found that sleep and sex make the biggest difference to our happiness levels. And even quadrupling our income made less of a difference than getting enough sleep and having enough sex. Who knew?
The survey polled 8,250 people and found that the average person has a Living Well score of 62.2.
Those who were happy with their sex lives scored seven points higher than those who were unhappy. In an even bigger jump, people who got the most sleep were found to be 15 points above those who struggle to sleep. In comparison, a household income jump from £12,500 to £50,000 only resulted in an average growth of two points.
Unsurprisingly, the happiest people are the older generation, and people with young kids. So, basically *cough* those who can afford to own a house and eat avocados – unlike us millennials, who have to do with one or the other.
But while everyone says that getting on the property ladder is the first step to happiness, the study found that there was no difference between renting and owning, when it came to the Living Well score.
The saddest people were in their 30-40s and had no children. They were found to be generally less satisfied with their sex lives, and had weaker support networks.
Other important factors were living in a strong community, the health of close relatives and job security.
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