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Health Status Linked to Happiness

Posted Dec 13 2012 10:09pm
Posted on Dec. 10, 2012, 6 a.m. in Mental Health Lifestyle
Health Status Linked to Happiness

Previously, studies link self-perceived happiness to the absence or presence (and the degree thereof) of having a medical condition.  Erik Angner, from George Mason University (Virginia, USA), and colleagues developed a direct measure of the degree to which disease disrupts daily functioning.  Their “freedom-from-debility score” is based on four health survey questions explicitly designed to represent limitations in physical activities and in usual role activities because of health problems. The researchers found that when controlling for demographic and socioeconomic factors in addition to objective and subjective health status, a one-point increase in the freedom-from-debility score (on a scale from 0 to 100) was associated with a three-percent reduction in the odds of reported unhappiness. The study authors submit that: “health status is one of the most influential predictors of happiness, that the association between health status and happiness depends greatly on the manner in which health status is measured, and that the degree to which disease disrupts daily functioning is inversely associated with happiness.”

Erik Angner, Jennifer Ghandhi, Kristen Williams Purvis, Daniel Amante, Jeroan Allison. “Daily Functioning, Health Status, and Happiness in Older Adults.”  J Happiness Studies, October 2012.

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#88 - Exercise for a Great Night's Sleep
Physical exercise promotes faster time to sleep and improves progress through the stages of sleep:
– Moderate aerobic exercise three days a week has been found to promote sound sleep.
– Strength training exercise (including weightlifting) prompts the release of Human Growth Hormone (HGH), rising levels of which at night coincide with sleep (see Tip 43).
– Exercise strengthens bones and joints, thereby helping to alleviate pain that can be bothersome in falling or staying asleep NOTE: It is best to avoid exercising within the 2-4 hours before bedtime because of the hormone-releasing (and thus possibly stimulating) effect.
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