Mapping Happiness Across the UK

British people are at their least happy while at work - except when they are sick in bed - according to researchers at the University of Sussex and the London School of Economics (LSE). The team analysed more than a million responses uploaded to a smartphone app, called Mappiness, that sporadically asks users questions such as how they are feeling, where they are and what they are doing.

Mappiness users receive a 'ding' on their smartphone at random times of the day, prompting them to complete a short survey, during which they rank their wellbeing using a sliding scale.

Tens of thousands of people have been using the app since 2010, helping to map happiness across the UK.

The researchers found that British people experience a 7-8 per cent drop in happiness while at work, compared to doing activities outside of work.

University of Sussex economist Dr George MacKerron, who created the app, says the immediacy of the technology offers great advantages.

He says: "Mappiness is interesting because it quizzes people in the moment, before they get a chance to reach for their rose-tinted glasses.

"For example, it is common to hear people say that they enjoy their work, but the Mappiness data show that people are happier doing almost anything other than working.

"Although we may be positive about our jobs when reflecting on the meaning and purpose they give us, and the money they provide, actually engaging in paid work comes at a significant psychological cost.

"It appears that work is highly negatively associated with momentary wellbeing: work really is disutility, as economists have traditionally assumed. At any given moment, we would rather be doing almost anything else."

The most pleasurable experience reported by app users is lovemaking or intimacy, followed by leisure activities, such as going to the theatre, visiting a museum or playing sport.

The data also debunks the myth that Brits love to queue - waiting or queueing is the fifth most unpopular activity.

The average user responded on around 60 separate occasions, allowing the researchers to build an accurate picture over time, compared to a single survey that can only really offer a momentary snapshot.

However, the researchers caution that, as might be expected from a smartphone-based study, the respondents were generally wealthier, younger and more likely to be employed or in full-time education than the UK population as a whole.

The study is published in The Economic Journal. More information on the study is available at http://www.mappiness.org.uk.

Dr MacKerron is based in the School of Business, Management and Economics at the University of Sussex. His research is focused on the economics of subjective wellbeing and the environment.

Most Popular Now

Zebra Announces Regulatory Approval of i…

Zebra Medical Vision, the leading machine learning imaging analytics company, announces that the company has been granted the CE approval and subsequent release of its Deep Learning Analytics Engine in...

Mind-Controlled Device Helps Stroke Pati…

Stroke patients who learned to use their minds to open and close a device fitted over their paralyzed hands gained some control over their hands, according to a new study...

Philips and Illumina Team Up with Navica…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) and Navican, an Intermountain Healthcare company, today signed an agreement to deploy a precision health informatics solution that will allow hospitals and health systems...

NHS Organisations to Access IMS MAXIMS C…

Award-winning electronic patient record (EPR) provider IMS MAXIMS has announced the availability of its cloud services on the latest iteration of the UK Government's G Cloud Framework. NHS organisations looking...

Boehringer Ingelheim Builds Digital Lab …

With the founding of BI X as independent subsidiary Boehringer Ingelheim will focus on breakthrough innovative digital solutions in healthcare from idea to pilot. The start-up will work closely together...

Artificial Intelligence to Assist in the…

The University of Tampere and TAYS (Tampere University Hospital) Heart Hospital use artificial intelligence (A.I.) technologies developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in the home care of heart...

Anyone can Become More Curious. Is that …

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the start of an experiment entitled "Anyone can become more curious". Driven by the company’s curiosity initiative, which measured and described...

EC Open Call FETOPEN-01-2016-2017: FET-O…

The successful exploration of new foundations for radically new future technologies requires supporting a large set of early stage, high risk visionary science and technology projects to investigate new ideas...

Home Monitoring of Blood Sugar Did Not I…

Self-monitoring of blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes who are not treated with insulin did not improve glycemic control or health-related quality of life after one year...

Call for Applications: 2017 Lyfebulb-Nov…

For the second year in a row, Lyfebulb and Novo Nordisk will support international patient entrepreneurs who develop innovative ideas and concepts aimed to positively empower and impact the lives...

New Cellular Imaging Paves Way for Cance…

Researchers at the Universities of York and Leiden have pioneered a technique which uses florescent imaging to track the actions of key enzymes in cancer, genetic disorders and kidney disease...

UK PACS Win for Carestream Announced

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (West Herts) located in the South East of the UK and Carestream have signed and exchanged contracts to replace the Trust's existing PACS with a...