Do you think the activities you do on a day to day basis are meaningful? If you do, turns out you might be happier than most other people. A new study has found that people who are socially more connected, who spend time in nature and are in general more involved with their communities are generally healthier than most other people.
The study was conducted by University College London and found that people who believe their activities are meaningful tend to be healthier. Around 7000 middle-aged participants were rounded up for the study and were presented by one question, “to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?”. This question was rated on a scale from 0 (not at all) to 10 (very). Their answers were correlated with multiple measures of health in the next four years.
It was found that the participants who believed their activities were more meaningful had stronger relationships, were wealthier, ate better, slept better, exercised more and were more likely to spend time socialising. In fact, these individuals had better good cholesterol levels, were thinner, walked faster and had strong hand grip strength.
Study author Andrew Steptoe said, "We think there is a two-way relationship between our experiences and life seeming worthwhile. People who are socially engaged and healthy may rate their activities as more meaningful, while at the same time this sense of meaning may contribute to more engagement, better mental health, less loneliness and so on."