happiness in older adults

Surprising results of British study on happiness

If you are middle-aged, and feel burdened with too many responsibilities and worries about work and family, you might take solace in a large research study just released by the British government. For one thing, the study showed that the least happy people were those aged 40-59, but that happiness increased after that.

The British Office of National Statistics undertook this grand study of the level of happiness and life satisfaction of more than 300,000 UK aged 16 and older, during three years, from 2012 through 2015. Here are the main results, copied from the final report:

  • Those aged 65 to 79 tended to report the highest average levels of personal well-being
  • Ratings of life satisfaction and happiness were at their lowest, on average, for those aged 45 to 59
  • Well-being ratings fell amongst the oldest age groups (those aged 75 and over) – this fall was steepest for feelings that activities they do in life are worthwhile
  • Those aged 90 and over reported higher life satisfaction and happiness compared with people in their middle years
  • Average anxiety ratings increased through early and middle years, peaking between 45 to 59 years, but then subsequently falling and remaining relatively unchanged for those aged 65 and over

The researchers found that not only were the middle-agers least happy, but that they also had the highest levels of anxiety. The people with the highest overall life satisfaction ratings were between age 16 and 19 and between 65 and 79.

Reasons for happiness results

The researchers believed that the middle-agers might be the least happy group because they have the highest levels of responsibility. They typically have demands placed on them by work, and may be stressed out taking care of their children and sometimes aging parents as well. Middle-aged people may be burdened by paying for their house and other big possessions.

Older people may be freed of many of those responsibilities and have more time to relax and have fun, especially if they are still in good health, mentally and physically. Since the study was undertaken in the UK, we can’t say if the results would be also true in other countries such as Brazil, but we can hope they are.

Nevertheless, if you are in your middle-years, this study is good news, and another reason to take your health seriously. In that way, you can arrive in your senior years in good condition, so you can really enjoy yourself. We suggest one way to do that is to read our posts, because that is what we here at ProcuraMed are trying to do for you!

Should you wish to find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, visit our website: www.procuramed.com

See also in ProcuraMed:

High Intensity Interval Training exercise for middle age and beyond

5 curiosities about sex in middle age and beyond

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

Category : Psychiatry @en