Five ways to wellbeing

Communicating the evidence

Latest: Read about Five Ways to Wellbeing during the Coronavirus crisis.

On the available evidence to date, this report identifies five key actions around the themes of social relationships, physical activity, awareness, learning, and giving. In general, the evidence base around the influencers of well-being is growing. Having strong social relationships, being physically active and being involved in learning are all important influencers of both well-being and ill-being. By contrast, the processes of giving and becoming more aware have been shown to specifically influence well-being in a positive way. A combination of all of these behaviours will help to enhance individual well-being and may have the potential to reduce the total number of people who develop mental health disorders in the longer term. However, there is agreement in the Foresight Challenge Reports that more work needs to be completed on intervention-based strategies to better understand issues of causality, effect size and favourable conditions for sustainable behavioural change.

The messages identified in this report are intended to have generic appeal, while offering concrete activity-based ideas on how to improve personal well-being. They aim to prompt people into thinking about those things in life which are important to their well-being and perhaps should be prioritised in their day-to-day routines. It is almost certainly the case that people will, to some extent, already be involved in specific activities under the overarching themes of connecting, being active, learning etc. Rather than encouraging a completely novel set of behaviours, the outcomes of a campaign of this kind are, therefore, more concerned with increasing the time people spend in activities known to enhance wellbeing.

Check out NEF’s more recent wellbeing analysis.

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