A compendium of factsheets: wellbeing across the lifecourse: wellbeing and longevity

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Department of Health
Department of Health
Date of publication
6 February 2014
Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

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These factsheets give a flavour of some of the important issues and relationships between wellbeing and health throughout someone’s life. For health professionals, understanding the different parts of personal wellbeing may offer insights into how their own work fits into a wider context and how what they do can influence wellbeing. The evidence is largely from published, peer reviewed documents and each factsheet provides references for readers wishing to follow up the literature in more detail. The documents have all been peer reviewed by independent experts.

The key facts of this factsheet are: subjective wellbeing influences health and longevity in healthy populations - it is estimated that high levels of subjective wellbeing can add 4 to 10 years to life; positive wellbeing may be more protective than negative wellbeing is detrimental; wellbeing may play an additional protective role in the course of physical illness; stress (a proxy for low wellbeing) is associated with slower wound healing; and wellbeing is associated with survival in older populations (aged 60 and over) - survival over an average of more than nine years was associated with greater enjoyment of life.

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