Quality of life not happiness should measure our well-being, says university academic

The Government’s survey into well-being should focus on quality of life rather than happiness, an academic has suggested.

From April, the Office for National Statistics will ask people to rate their own well-being with the first official happiness index due in 2012.

But Professor Suzanne Skevington from the University of Bath’s Department of Psychology said the Government should instead focus on quality of life as a measure of the nation’s well-being. She has worked for over ten years on a comprehensive study of quality of life.

Working with the World Health Organisation (WHO), she and collaborators in many countries around the world have discovered 24 aspects that are agreed by people in diverse cultures. This measure is being used to assess the quality of life of people globally.These include positive feelings of happiness and contentment, having enough energy, good personal relationships and having enough money to meet your needs.

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