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

EyeFocus Eye Care Innovation Conference

31 January 2017, London, UK. EyeFocus is holding a one day conference about eye-care innovation to end the second EyeFocus program. The conference is instead of the traditional demo day, and...

Read more

New Virtual Reality Technology may Impro…

A combination of traditional physical therapy and technology may improve the motor skills and mobility of an impaired hand by having its partner, more mobile hand lead by example through...

Read more

European Commission Seeks Input on a Ref…

Smart wearables provide technology-based solutions to pressing societal and economic challenges in the areas of healthy ageing, elderly care, emergency management, safety at work, productivity enhancement, training of professionals, energy...

Read more

Top 20 eHealth News of 2016

Look back at the most prominent moments from the year 2016. We are proud to announce the 20 most popular eHealth News from 2016, the most commonly viewed news articles...

Read more

conhIT Newcomer Awards 2017: Health IT I…

25 - 27 April 2017, Berlin, Germany. By bringing representatives of the Health IT industry and other Healthcare institutions together with prospective young employees conhIT 2017, Europe's leading event for Health...

Read more

Philips and Leading Network of Healthcar…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) today announced the signing of a 10-year strategic partnership agreement with the Expert Group of Companies, one of Russia's leading network of healthcare centers...

Read more

Ireland's First Babies Born with an Elec…

The HSE and eHealth Ireland are delighted to announce the arrival of Emily, one of Ireland’s first newborns to have their own electronic health record from birth. Weighing 7lb 5oz...

Read more

MSD Innovation Factory: SMART STOCK Chal…

Pharmacy Chains in the EEMEA Region are growing rapidly. These are in the range of 150+ pharmacy outlets or so called PoS (Point of Sale). Thousands of prescriptions are being...

Read more

Dudley Group Adds Allscripts SunriseTM E…

In the fourth quarter of 2016, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust selected Allscripts (NASDAQ:MDRX) fully integrated health IT solution to help achieve its objective to become a fully digital...

Read more

Philips Highlights Cloud-Based Innovatio…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is showcasing innovative connected health products and solutions that empower consumers to become ever-more engaged in their health. Leveraging Philips' expertise in the consumer...

Read more

MSD Innovation Factory: INNOREP Challeng…

Nowadays, pharmaceutical launches are becoming harder and more competitive. In some cases, MSD products are neither the only nor the first player in the market. Besides, clinical data can be...

Read more

MSD Innovation Factory: EDU CARE Challen…

At healthcare professionals' waiting room around the globe there is a repeated scenario: inattentive patients spend their time before being seen by their healthcare professionals. Sometimes playing with their smartphones...

Read more
(HEALTH IT) SPACE - Take a look at who has just Joined