Local wellbeing indicators

Happy City and What Works Wellbeing, 2017

Happy City and What Works Wellbeing have published Understanding local needs for wellbeing data: measures and indicators. 

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Source: Happy City and What Works Wellbeing

This report presents a new Local Wellbeing Indicator set for local authorities, public health leaders and Health & Wellbeing boards. The indicators use existing data and research to provide a picture of local residents’ lives and community wellbeing. The indicators look at personal relationships, economics, education, childhood equality and health and offer a picture of what affects communities as opposed to traditional metrics.

Buying time promotes happiness

Research suggest that using money to buy time can protect people from the  detrimental effects of time pressure on life satisfaction. | story via OnMedica

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Using money to free-up time rather than spending it on material goods is linked to increased happiness, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In an experiment, psychologists at the University of British Columbia in Canada said that individuals reported greater happiness if they used £30  to save time – such as by paying for household chores to be done – rather than spending the money on books, clothes or wine.

More than 6,000 adults in the US, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands were asked questions about how much money they spent on buying time. The researchers found that fewer than a third of individuals spent money to buy themselves time each month. Those who did reported greater life satisfaction than the others.

Psychologists say stress over lack of time causes lower wellbeing and contributes to anxiety and insomnia.

Full story at OnMedica

Full reference: Whillans, A. V. et al. Buying time promotes happiness| Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences | 2017 published ahead of print July 24, 2017

Arts in health and wellbeing

Creative health: the arts for health and well-being | All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing

This report presents the findings of research, evidence-gathering and discussions with a view to making recommendations to improve policy and practice around the benefits that the arts can bring to health and wellbeing.

Related: Royal Society for Public Health press release

Technostress: measuring a new threat to well-being in later life

Galit Nimrod | Technostress: measuring a new threat to well-being in later life
Aging & Mental Health | published online 31st May 2017

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Objectives: Technostress is stress induced by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) use. Research on the topic has focused primarily on the workforce and tended to overlook senior citizens. This study presents the development of a new scale, which was designed to measure technostress specifically among older adults.

Method: The scale explores five constructs: overload, invasion, complexity, privacyand inclusion. The initial 20-item measure was tested in a pilot study and then included in an online survey of 537 Internet users aged 60 years and over.

Results: Based on the statistical analysis, the scale was reduced to 14 items. The constructs had good internal homogeneity, significant inter-construct correlations and high loadings on a single latent factor. The scores were well distributed along the range. Concurrent validity was assessed using the Satisfaction with Life Scale. A significant negative association was found between the two scales – a correlation that remained significant even after controlling for background variables.

Conclusion: The new scale is useful for measuring technostress in older people, and technostress ought to be considered a particular threat to well-being in later life. Future research should explore its antecedents and consequences and identify interventions useful in alleviating its harmful effect on older ICT users.

A curriculum for wellbeing

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The Department for Education has announced that schools will be trialling several mental health promotion programmes in schools, including mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and programmes teaching children about how to maintain good mental health. | Centre for Mental Health

The announcement follows the Prime Minister’s pledge to prioritise mental health. And it recognises the evidence of the critical role of schools and the high proportion of mental health problems that begin in childhood.

Read more at Centre for Mental Health

Full paper:
Children and young people’s mental health research and evaluation programme

Working with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector

The Local Government Association has published Public health working with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector: new opportunities and sustainable change.

The case studies in this report show how public health and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) are working together to make a real difference to people’s health and wellbeing.

Download the full report here

Health and care of older people

Age UK has published The health and care of older people in England 2017.

This briefing examines the health and care needs of the ageing population, the state of social care, the state of healthcare and whether the health and care system is fit for the future.  It demonstrates the challenges facing older people who need care and the impact of the failure to provide it on their health and wellbeing, as well as the NHS.

Read more from Age UK : ‘Borrowed time’ to save social care system from collapse

Download the full report here

Number of people aged 65 and over in England by age group, 2005/06 to
2015/16

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Image source: ONS | ageuk.org.uk