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

SAP IoT Startup Accelerator

The SAP IoT Startup Accelerator is a structured co-innovation program for selected B2B startups focusing on the Internet of Things. The Accelerator helps startups grow and scale their businesses alongside...

Read more

Paving the Way for eHealth Interoperabil…

The EURO-CAS project launched operations today to deliver the eHealth Conformity Assessment Scheme for Europe in 2018. This scheme will help European health systems assess the conformity of eHealth products...

Read more

SkinVision Unveils Breakthrough Algorith…

Dutch mobile health startup SkinVision has revealed its new algorithm that can detect most common forms of deadly skin cancer. Previously focused on detecting melanoma skin cancer, the app can...

Read more

eHealth Hub Solution Match Call: Hospita…

Solution Match is one of the services offered by the EU-funded initiative eHealth Hub, intending to promote and boost up commercialization. The eHealth Hub aims to provide long-term support to...

Read more

Wearable AI System can Detect a Conversa…

It's a fact of nature that a single conversation can be interpreted in very different ways. For people with anxiety or conditions such as Asperger's, this can make social situations...

Read more

Doctrina Raises €1,020,000 of New Capita…

Doctrina, a start-up company transforming the traditional transfer of knowledge between pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies, has raised a total of €1,020,000 in series A funding. The investment will enable Doctrina...

Read more

Biovision World Life Science Forum 2017

4 - 6 April 2017, Lyon, France. Biovision World Life Science Forum is fostering a unique approach to meet, connect and collaborate between international decision-makers from the academic, civil society, policy-making...

Read more

DIY Live Cell Imaging Using a Smartphone

A recent study from Uppsala University shows how smartphones can be used to make movies of living cells, without the need for expensive equipment. The study is published in the...

Read more

Horder Healthcare Uses IMS MAXIMS Electr…

Healthcare provider Horder Healthcare is to deploy an electronic patient record (EPR) from software provider IMS MAXIMS, in order to improve care for thousands of patients and facilitate its digital...

Read more

Brain-Computer Interface Allows Complete…

A brain-computer interface that can decipher the thoughts of people who are unable to communicate could revolutionize the lives of those living with complete locked-in syndrome according to a new...

Read more

Deep Learning in Healthcare Summit

28 - 01 March 2017, London, UK. Discover advances in deep learning tools and techniques from the world's leading innovators across industry, academia and the healthcare sector. Learn from the experts...

Read more

Pitch Your Digital Health Solution at th…

The second eHealth Roadshow, promoted by the new EU-funded eHealth Hub project, will take place on the 6th of April in Stuttgart, Germany, in the frame of the Medtec Europe...

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