Health, Well-Being, Quality of Life, Wellness, Happiness

Are these the same thing – or slightly different?  On our site we tend to group them together – it’s helping people we want to focus on.  Here we give you some basic information on how these things can differ – read on if you’re interested!

The World Health Organisation policy framework

Before WWII, health meant not being ill. In 1948 the World Health Organisation (WHO) proposed a definition that viewed health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity” (WHO, 1948).

In the WHO’s policy framework ‘Health 2020’ health and mental health are affected by well-being, which can be considered and measured in a number of different ways.  Organisations are trying to develop ‘life satisfaction’ as a common currency!

Scroll down for LOTS of statistics about how healthy we are (in England).

Then there’s happiness. Although this isn’t quite the same as health, it’s clearly a key component, especially as we start to look at well-being etc. We should consider happiness as part of our definition, and see how these things all fit together.

There are many ways of looking at health or well-being, and four slightly different views are shown below, along with sources and definitions (just click on the word), and the disciplines they arose from. Don’t worry if this seems a bit technical – I guess the point is that health, or well-being, or wellness, or quality of life, all have slightly different histories and slants.  And happiness, which has its own components and measures, and which is measured around the world. And prosperity, which also has its own worldwide index.

We think they’re all relevant and we don’t really differentiate!

This focusses on pleasure and happiness, and the most popular model is ‘Subjective Well-being’

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Psychology and sociology disciplines

This suggests that psychological health is by fulfilling your potential and realising your true nature

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Psychology and sociology disciplines

This relates also to physical health, social relationships and independence as well as psychology

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Medical disciplines

This is a more holistic approach, including spirituality, personality, as well as maximising potential.

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Counselling disciplines

Check out the video here which compares these two forms of well-being and happiness.  Basically the first involves enjoying yourself and avoiding unpleasant emotions. The second is about personal growth and looks at wider issues.

Interestingly both versions were ‘defined’ by Greek philosophers thousands of years ago!

Wellness is quite a well defined concept, and there seem to be a number of different dimensions involved. The US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association have a good video which describes the eight dimensions of wellness.

Quality of life is abigger picture looking at what’s important. and the Organisation for Economic Growth and Development (OECD) have a video which shows how this varies round the world.

Happiness

Digging around in the Oxford dictionary shows us that: happiness is the state of feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. So it’s not permanent – it’s a state. Also it’s not as intense as joy or ecstasy and can be internal or external (feeling or showing).

You can track your own happiness with Hugo or download the world happiness report below.  The video uses rodents to make a point.

Prosperity

Legatum rank 169 countries around the world, covering 99.4% of the world’s population. Almost 300 indicators are used to measure the current prosperity and how this changes by year.

You can look at the site or download their report for the UK below.

Office of National Statistics Measuring National Well-being Programme

Personal well-being is part of the international Measuring National Well-being (MNW) programme, which looks at subjective measures as well as income and health.

It uses the 4 questions below (ONS4) which were first added to the Annual Population survey in April 2011.

Table 1: Four measures of personal well-being

Next I would like to ask you four questions about your feelings on aspects of your life. There are no right or wrong answers. For each of these questions I’d like you to give an answer on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is “not at all” and 10 is “completely”.
Measure   Question
Life Satisfaction      Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?
Worthwhile      Overall, to what extent do you feel that the things you do in your life are worthwhile?
Happiness      Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?
Anxiety      On a scale where 0 is “not at all anxious” and 10 is “completely anxious”, overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?
Source: Office for National Statistics
Infographic on measuring national wellbeing from ONS

Personal and economic well-being

The ONS issued a report combining this with economic data in February 2020 for Q3 2019 – you can download it.

Notes:
1.p.p refers to percentage point change.

2.“Compared with last year” refers to Q3 (Jul to Sep) 2019 compared with Q3 (Jul to Sep) 2018.

3.“Change in aggregate balance compared with last year” refers to Sep 2019 compared with Sep 2018.

4.“Compared with previous year” refers to 2018 to 2019 compared with 2017 to 2018.

5. “In the year to Q3 (July to Sept 2019)” refers to Quarter 3 (July to Sept 2019) compared to Quarter 3 (July to Sept 2018).

Life in England

This information combines personal well-being information with information on community, volunteering and social cohesion  from the Community Life Survey 2018-19.  Hover over a chart for more information.

s2Member®

You need to scroll down to see all the info in this popup – sorry for going on so much!

OCEAN Personality Types

People tend to believe that each individual is different and unique in their own way. While that may be true to an  extent, it’s not entirely accurate.

It’s certainly not helpful when firms are trying to recruit people ‘of a certain type’.

When it comes to personality types, there are tests that categorise people into one of a few groups that describe their characteristics.

The ‘Big Five’ personality traits  characteristics are :

  • Openness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

Easily remembered as OCEAN.  You can find out what type of person you are by taking a free test here.  It’s from Truity and doesn’t need an email or login.

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Holiday habits

• A third of Britons who go abroad return to the same resort every year
• The average UK holidaymaker has been to the same place four times
• More than one in ten return to the same holiday spot ten or more times – and many even try to book the same hotel room.
• More than a third, 34 per cent, go to the same restaurant they ate at on their last trip, and more than a quarter, 26 per cent, don’t even bother trying to find new drinking locations
• Some 59 per cent of us go on the same holiday in successive years
• McDonalds and KFC are worldwide brands and people in a foreign city can always head to a McDonalds and KFC because you only need to point at the picture and with 3 fingers held up means you want 3 – language barrier overcome. No slight embarrassment not knowing the menu or protocol.
• Many go back because it is the easy option.

No more seasonal fruit and veg - but at what price?

Years ago we had seasonal fruit, but not now. Strawberries were April to August – now it’s January to November under poly-tunnel. How can a plant produce so much fruit??? Artificial feeding. How can they be so big?  Artificial feeding. How can they look so pristine with not a mark on them? Artificial feeding and pesticides to keep the insects off. But because they are grown in artificial circumstances they can attract new types of diseases so chemicals are added to stop those diseases taking off. But, is there an alternative? Yes buy organic fruit and veg – at least there is an element of inspection and testing.

Fresh food could be as bad as processed food

What is becoming scarier than processed food is fresh food. The farmers and scientists and government are now on a mission to feed the increasing population, HOW? Well, producing fresh food that we can grow quicker, faster, bigger, disease free and more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But all these things come at a price.
The chemicals that farmers and growers put on the land to grow super-fast produce mean that the feed is so powerful it can double the growth and size in half the time. The pesticides they put on the plants kills everything and anything that lives on a plant, just so we don’t have a marked apple on the shelf. We do need chemicals to stop some diseases on fruit and veg but the chemicals on fruit and veg today go much further. This article in the Daily Mail on 1st November 2018 said;

On average, new research has found, a supermarket potato will have been doused with an astonishing 30 active ingredients (an active ingredient is the part of a substance or compound that produces its chemical or biological effect). Compare that to 40 years ago — when a potato would have been treated with just 5.3 active ingredients — and you start to see how mind-bogglingly dependent farming in Britain today is on chemicals.

Meat - is that healthy to eat?

Well years ago it was. When animals could go into the fields and eat grass and get normal supplements to keep them fit and healthy.  But then big business wanted more and started to produce feeds like rocket fuel, the sort of food body builders eat to accelerate muscle and weight. Can you blame them? Not really. If someone says; “Hey, here’s a food that will treble the size of your animal in half the time, which means you get it to market faster and it’s cheaper to feed, so less cost and more profit.”  Who wouldn’t?

But then you look at what they feed the animals and think it just doesn’t pass straight through the animal and out the other side – it is absorbed into the flesh. And then humans eat it. But, what’s the alternative? Locally produced, farm and grass reared, local butcher sold meats. Organic, just to add a bit of assurance nothing has been used on the land.

Out of date bread - where does it go after the supermarket?

Ever wondered where the old out of date bread goes when it comes off the supermarket shelves? Well it goes to a special company and it is all ground together into a giant mincing machine and ground up into crumbs. This includes the coloured branded plastic bag it came in and the tag on the end. As bread is yeast based it requires further chemicals to stop another fermentation process taking place.

It is then sold to farmers for winter feed to cows who eat the crumbs and plastic bag and tag. We then milk the cow or eat the beef. Just to remind you cows stomachs may be big but they are not designed to eat colour printed plastic. Yet again another Food Standards Agency and Agricultural Agency getting together to provide winter feed at a cheap cost with no regard for the cow or the consumer. But what’s the alternative – organic milk. Aldi, Co-op and Sainsbury sell organic milk very competitively.

Farmed fish / shellfish - is it good for us?

So what do we know, well firstly fish living together in huge pens in huge quantities attract disease. They also, in the case of salmon, lose their colour, so scientists created a food that has colour built in and contains chemicals that kill the fish lice and then we eat it. Take a look on YouTube at the investigations and make your own mind up.

The biggest fish farms in the world are now in the Baltic Sea. They farm pollock, haddock and cod and we also know the Baltic Sea is one of the most polluted seas on the globe. But, what is the alternative – fish caught in the open ocean.

Shellfish is a popular product in the UK but most prawns come from Thailand, Vietnam and South America. All are farmed. But, what’s the alternative – organic and ocean caught never farmed.

This recent documentary opens your eyes to fish farming and the issues they have  – click here.  

When is the best time to eat?

It’s not just eating the right food or drinking the right amount of water – it’s about when we do this. In the UK we eat as fuel and don’t eat for pleasure. We often push food down our throats as fast as we can – often late in the evening just before we go to bed!!  There is an old saying breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, dinner like a prince and supper like a pauper. Eating during the day gives our bodies the chance to work off the fuel we have put into our bodies. Many people have such busy days they don’t get time to eat during the day. If you’re that busy your body needs fuel so snack every hour or two if you cannot give up the time at lunch to eat. Little and often is recommended rather than a big meal at the end of the day.

We are creating a new type of member – the YouDriver.

YouDrivers will be able to build their own health dashboard – they will take health questionnaires to see how healthy they are, they will look at all aspects of their health and understand exactly what matters to them.

They will go on a journey to decide which health areas they want to work on, how they want to tackle these and then they will be able to build their own action plans. 

We’re also inviting more people to get involved – whether by contributing their own views or by offering support to our site visitors.

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