High life satisfaction linked to better overall health

Image Source: IANS News
Image Source: IANS News

Toronto, March 5 (IANS) Higher life satisfaction is associated with better physical, psychological and behavioural health, say researchers.

The research found that higher life satisfaction is linked to 21 positive health and well-being outcomes, including a 26 per cent reduced risk of mortality, a 46 per cent reduced risk of depression, a 25 per cent reduced risk of physical functioning limitations.

"Life satisfaction is a person's evaluation of his or her own life based on factors that they deem most relevant," said researcher Eric Kim from the University of British Columbia in Canada.

"While life satisfaction is shaped by genetics, social factors and changing life circumstances, it can also be improved on both the individual level as well as collectively on the national level," Kim added.

For the study, published in The Milbank Quarterly journal, the team examined data from a nationally representative sample of 12,998 US adults over age 50, in which participants were asked to self-evaluate their life satisfaction and health.

This study is the first to see whether a positive change in life satisfaction is associated with better outcomes on a wide range of physical, behavioural and psychosocial health and well-being indicators over a four-year period.

"The results of this study suggest that life satisfaction is a valuable target for policymakers to consider when enhancing physical, psychological and behavioural health outcomes at the policy level," said Kim.