freelance journalist, print journalist, online journalist, copywriter, content editor, freelance editor, health and lifestyle, blogger Life satisfaction 'good for the heart' | Christine Morgan - Journalist
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David Cameron – the Tory Prime Minister who wants to know how happy we Brits are (probably not the best time to ask, Dave… duh!) – will no doubt be sitting up and taking notice of the latest study on happiness and how it affects human health. Being satisfied with your life is, say researchers writing in the European Heart Journal, good for your heart.

The researchers were interested in finding out whether life satisfaction has anything to do with the development of coronary heart disease (CHD) – after all, they say, negative factors such as stress and depression have a well-known association with CHD, but there hasn’t been that much evidence to suggest the opposite might be true too. So they quizzed almost 8,000 British people about various areas of their lives (love relationships, leisure activities, standard of living, job, family, sex and self, to be precise), asking them to rate their satisfaction with each on a sale of one to seven (one being very dissatisfied, seven being very satisfied).

Without going into the various statistics involved, the main outcome was that those who said they were the most satisfied with those various areas of their lives had a 13 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease (and that’s after taking demographic and health issues into account). Thirteen percent, say the researchers, is statistically significant, and I for one am not going to disagree with them.

Now there may well be a wee bit of a problem with this study – much as I hate to admit it (being one who loves a good study on the benefits of positive thinking and happiness). The average age of volunteers who took part was just 49, which is relatively young when you’re looking at the risk for CHD. Not only that, but the timing of the study is also bordering on tragi-comic genius. Guess who they used as volunteers? Only civil servants, that’s who!

Hmm, not sure if they did the same study right now – with job cuts, higher retirement ages and increased pension contributions on the cards for many public sector workers in the UK – they’d find many people reporting high life satisfaction in many areas of their lives, particularly standard of living and jobs.

Well then,  back to you David Cameron…