Healthy happiness: effects of happiness on physical health and the consequences for preventive health care
- R. VeenhovenAffiliated withDepartment of Social Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam Email author
Is happiness good for your health? This common notion is tested in a synthetic analysis of 30 follow-up studies on happiness and longevity. It appears that happiness does not predict longevity in sick populations, but that it does predict longevity among healthy populations So, happiness does not cure illness but it does protect against becoming ill. The effect of happiness on longevity in healthy populations is remarkably strong. The size of the effect is comparable to that of smoking or not.
If so, public health can also be promoted by policies that aim at greater happiness of a greater number. That can be done by strengthening individual life-abilities and by improving the livability of the social environment. Some policies are proposed. Both ways of promoting health through happiness require more research on conditions for happiness.
KeywordsHappiness Life satisfaction Longevity Public health Social policy Research synthesis
- Healthy happiness: effects of happiness on physical health and the consequences for preventive health care
- Open Access
- Available under Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Journal of Happiness Studies
Volume 9, Issue 3 , pp 449-469
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Life satisfaction
- Public health
- Social policy
- Research synthesis
- Industry Sectors
- R. Veenhoven (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Social Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Postbus 1738, Rotterdam, 3000 DR, Netherlands