The Key To Happiness: Work
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 18, 2006
CARDIFF, WALES--I'm going to tell you something now that you already knew: It is better to have a job than to not have a job.
But you don't have to take my word for it.
Just listen to Professor Mansel Aylward, Director of Cardiff University's Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research.
"The evidence is quite compelling that being at work is good for happiness and is also good for health."
Last Thursday, Aylward spoke about his analysis of data from the Office of National Statistics showing a strong connection between employment, income and emotional and physical well-being.
"There is a positive link between the feeling of happiness and level of health, so being out of work is very dangerous," he said. "If you look at the suicide rate of young adult males, it is 40 times greater for those out of work than those who have a job -- that is a figure we can't neglect."
"Even if we look at the whole spectrum, people out of work are six times more likely to commit suicide than those in work."
Aylward found that medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer are higher for unemployed individuals. He concluded that being out of work for six months can carry the same health risks as smoking 20 packs of cigarettes a day.
Aylward said that even if you don't like your job for one reason or another, it's likely you have a social network of colleagues there, and that you feel that you are doing something important.
And even though many of us say we want to win the lottery so we can quit work and be happy, Aylward said his research shows that lottery winners are happier right after winning the lottery, but that their happiness levels soon come back to where they were before they won. The same thing happens for people who experience a life-changing event, such as a car accident, he said.
"People who have won the lottery and people who have had serious accidents, that leave them paraplegic for example, do have very different levels of happiness immediately afterwards, but after several months, their levels of happiness return to a similar level as those before the event."
Working 'makes us happy (The Evening Standard)