- VCG / Getty
Money really can’t buy happiness, according to a new study which found that it’s actually sleep and sex that keep us content.
This is according to the inaugural Sainsbury’s Living Well Index, created in partnership with researchers at consultancy Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research.
The research is based on a nationally representative study which looked at how Britons feel about their quality of life.
Its aim is to define what it means to “live well” in the UK.
The researchers asked 8,250 people questions on 60 different aspects of their behaviour and how they live, including their jobs, quality of sleep, their finances, and their support networks and relationships with friends, families, and communities.
The average score was 62.2 out of 100. Those defined as Living Well were the top 20% of the population with the highest scores – between 72 and 92.
The index compared the lifestyle and behaviours of those at the top with the typical Briton to discover the 5 things Brits most associate with a high quality of life:
1. A good night’s sleep.
Sleep was the strongest indicator of an overall sense of wellbeing, according to the study. The respondents with the highest Living Well scores reported feeling well rested 60% of the time, while those in the bottom 20% said they rarely, or never, felt well rested.
2. Sex life satisfaction.
Just over a third (35%) of the population said they were fairly or very satisfied with their sex lives – and these respondents were likely to be found at the top of the index. Almost two thirds (63%) of those at the top said they were satisfied with their sex life – twice the national average.
3. Job security.
43% of those with the highest index scores also cited a very high degree of job security – almost twice the national average.
However, income had surprisingly little impact – a 50% rise in disposable income contributed to just a 0.5 point increase in score on the index.
4. Health of close relatives.
Worries about the health of close relations was also a significant barrier to living well – the analysis found that worries over the health of close relations contributes a difference of 1.75 points between the typical Briton and those at the top.
5. Community cohesion.
Finally, stronger connections with the people in our communities also appears to have an impact on quality of life. The typical person speaks to their neighbours once or twice a month, but nearly 70% of the people in the top 20% of the index speak to neighbours once or twice a week.
The same panel will be questioned every six months, according to the report.
Ian Mulheirn, Director of Consulting at Oxford Economics, said: “Wellbeing is rising up the agenda at a time of rapid change in how we live our lives, and we’ve created a critical new tool that can help us to unpick what’s driving our sense of living well, drawing on a unique, rolling survey of unprecedented breadth and granularity.
“The analysis within the Sainsbury’s Living Well Index reveals that, in a world that’s never been more connected, the richness of our relationships and support networks remains among the biggest determinants of how well we live – and represents an area of our lives in which we can act.”