Management QOL in the News - June 29, 2020

We’re Learning the Wrong Lessons From the World’s Happiest Countries

By Joe Pinsker

Since 2012, most of the humans on Earth have been given a nearly annual reminder that there are entire nations of people who are measurably happier than they are. This uplifting yearly notification is known as the World Happiness Report.

With the release of each report, which is published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the question is not which country will appear at the top of the rankings, but rather which Northern European country will. Finland has been the world’s happiest country for four years running; Denmark and Norway hold all but one of the other titles (which went to Switzerland in 2015).

The rankings are reliably discouraging for Americans, who have never cracked the global top 10. We are merely in the upper middle class of happiness—respectable, but underwhelming for a country with our level of wealth and self-regard.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - June 8, 2020

Work and Wellbeing in the 21st Century

The nature of work and the way it is conceptualised has been evolving since the dawn of humankind. As societies have shifted from hunter gathering to an agrarian basis and then to urban living, the activities that people have undertaken have changed. In parallel, the arrangements for the delegation of labour have altered from systems such as slavery, serfdom and indentured labour to paid employment and contracting. The pace of change has been increasing exponentially and the information technology revolution has transformed work for many in less than a generation.

Read full report here.

Management QOL in the News - March 20, 2020

World Happiness Report 2021

The World Happiness Report 2021 focuses on the effects of COVID-19 and how people all over the world have fared. Our aim was two-fold, first to focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the structure and quality of people’s lives, and second to describe and evaluate how governments all over the world have dealt with the pandemic. In particular, we try to explain why some countries have done so much better than others.

Read full report here.

COVID Related Resources

COVID and Wellbeing in the News

Covid: The devastating toll of the pandemic on children

Nick Triggle

They are not likely to get seriously ill with Covid and there have been very few deaths. But children are still the victims of the virus - and our response to it - in many other ways.

From increasing rates of mental health problems to concerns about rising levels of abuse and neglect and the potential harm being done to the development of babies, the pandemic is threatening to have a devastating legacy on the nation's young.

Read full article here.

Looking forward rather than backward safeguards wellbeing during COVID-19 lockdowns

University of Surrey

Practicing gratitude and looking to the future will help safeguard our mental wellbeing during future COVID-19 lockdowns, a new study in the Journal of Positive Psychology reports.

In the first study of its kind, researchers from the University of Surrey investigated the effectiveness of three psychological interventions—nostalgia, a sentimentality for the past; gratitude, recognizing the good things currently in our life; and best possible self, thinking about positive elements of the future—and how they each affect wellbeing during lockdowns. Personal characteristics such as emotion regulation (the ability to respond to and manage an emotional experience) and attachment orientations (how a person views their relationships to others) were also examined. It is believed that such traits may be an indicator of how an individual responds to lockdowns.

Read full article here.

COVID-19 pandemic triggers largest drop in US life expectancy in decades

Rich Haridy

A new study from researchers at Princeton University and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, projects the COVID-19 pandemic to potentially generate the largest single-year decline in US life expectancy since the 1918 influenza pandemic. The declines are especially prominent in minority communities, and are expected to continue over the coming years as the country grapples with the repercussions of the novel disease.

Life expectancy calculations often serve as helpful indications of general health in a population. Over the last few decades life expectancy in the United States has incrementally increased. However, tiny declines have been detected and they often deliver important insights into broader societal issues.

Read full article here.

Certain parenting behaviors associated with positive changes in well-being during COVID-19 pandemic

Society for Research in Child Development

During the COVID-19 pandemic, parents have been faced with challenging circumstances to balance work, household, care of children and support of distance learning for school-age children without help from their regular support systems such as schools, childcare, and often other family members as well. A new longitudinal study in Germany examined day-to-day parenting behavior during the restrictions and closures caused by the pandemic from the end of March until the end of April 2020. Research showed that autonomy-supportive parenting (offering meaningful choices when possible) contributed to positive well-being for both children and parents.

Read full article here.

Emotional Well-Being and Coping During COVID-19

These are unprecedented times. We need to work extra hard to manage our emotions well. Expect to have a lot of mixed feelings. Naturally we feel anxiety, and maybe waves of panic, particularly when seeing new headlines. An article by stress scientist and Vice Chair of Adult Psychology Elissa Epel, PhD, outlines the psychology behind the COVID-19 panic response and how we can try to make the best of this situation. Her tips can be found below.

Our anxiety is helping us cope, bond together from a physical distance, and slow the spread of the virus. So our anxiety - while uncomfortable - is a good thing right now, especially if we manage it well. At the same time, we must effortfully prevent panic contagion and create periods when we can be screen-free and calm, engaging our attention in normal daily activities. Seize opportunities to share lightness and humor. Laughter right now is a relief for all of us!

Read full article here.

Addressing COVID Mental Health Effects at Work

Wendy Burch

Not only has the pandemic caused a tremendous amount of stress, but it has also exacerbated many people's mental health disorders. How can you make the work environment a safe and comfortable place for them, and ensure everyone is coping well with current events? Here are some tips from the New York State branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Read full article here.

How Pets Can Promote Humans’ Wellbeing Via Touch-Based Interactions During COVID-19

Mary Stroka

The researchers explored how touch-based interactions between people and their pets promote the human’s wellbeing and provide a method of “bridging the physical intimacy and connection gap” of COVID-19 in an Australian study published in the Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy.

The study authors recruited 32 pet owners aged 59 years to 83 years (mean: 70 years) for qualitative semi-structured interviews via public calls on radio and snowball sampling. Pet diversity reflected global and Australian pet ownership patterns of dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles. The animals included sheep and 1 crocodile.

Read full article here.

COVID and Wellbeing in Academic Journals

COVID-19: the intersection of education and health

The Lancet

What lessons does the COVID-19 syndemic offer when considering the convergence between health and education? The International Day of Education, on Jan 24, provides an opportunity to reflect on the weaknesses of the education system before COVID-19, and on the impact of school closures and education disruptions on children and adolescents. Since March, 2020, more than 1·5 billion students worldwide—an unprecedented number—have been affected by school or university closures. The implications of these closures are enormous. In addition to the loss of learning, a lack of access to school means that many children lose protection from hazards such as domestic violence and child abuse, others lose access to the only nutritious meal of their day, and many will miss immunisations that are often given at school. Furthermore, school closures deprive children and adolescents of social and emotional experiences essential for their development and wellbeing.

Read full article here.

Health-Related Quality of Life and its Associated Factors in COVID-19 Patients

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The effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on health-related quality of life in children

Dery Adıbelli, Adem Sümen

  • The coronavirus outbreak causes fear and anxiety in society.
  • Parents reported that their children gained weight during the pandemic.
  • Parents reported that their children tendency to sleep increased during the pandemic.
  • Parents reported that their children Internet use increased during the pandemic.
  • The self-reported quality of life scores of children were generally good.

Read full article here.

Persistence of symptoms and quality of life at 35 days after hospitalization for COVID-19 infection

Characterizing the prevalence and persistence of symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection following hospitalization and their impact is essential to planning post-acute community-based clinical services. This study seeks to identify persistent COVID-19 symptoms in patients 35 days post-hospitalization and their impact on quality of life, health, physical, mental, and psychosocial function.

Read full article here.

Quality of Life and Physical Performance After Novel Coronavirus Infection (COVID-19)

This study aims to observe the long-term health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and physical performance in individuals hospitalized due to a COVID-19 infection. Therefore, data is extracted from a study-site standard aftercare program which has been adjusted for this patient population. This comprehensive aftercare program includes education sessions and physical exercise. A second aim is to observe adherence and feasibility to the program and if indicated compare the clinical data and outcomes from patients following the program with patients denying to participate in guided exercise and education sessions.

It is expected that patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 infection show a reduction in physical performance and HRQOL directly after discharge. The severity of illness is hypothesized to be associated with a reduction as well in HRQOL and physical performance after one-year post-discharge.

Read full article here.

Valuing all lives equally: cancer surgery, COVID-19, and the NHS in crisis

The Lancet Oncology

As COVID-19 infections continue to increase at an unprecedented rate, and the UK enters the toughest phase of the pandemic so far, the National Health Service (NHS) finds itself under the most pressure seen in its 72-year history. With the majority of intensive care beds occupied by patients with COVID-19, Kings College Hospital in London was one of the first to take the drastic action to cancel urgent cancer surgeries. However, it is not alone, as other NHS hospitals in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Cambridge, Essex, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, to name just a few, have also started to cancel urgent cancer surgeries.

Read full article here.

Too long to wait: the impact of COVID-19 on elective surgery

The Lancet Rheumatology

As health-care systems worldwide scrambled to cope with the first wave of COVID-19, many countries made the necessary decision to cancel all non-emergency surgical procedures to free up personnel and resources to care for patients with COVID-19. Nearly 10 million people in the UK are now waiting for surgical procedures, up from 4 million before the pandemic hit. Among them are nearly 100 000 patients whose joint replacement surgeries were cancelled during the first COVID-19 wave, many of whom are left struggling with daily activities because of severe pain and limited mobility. The UK is not alone in this dilemma; a US report projected a backlog of more than 1 million joint and spinal surgeries by mid-2022. Drastic measures will be required to clear these backlogs.

Read full article here.

COVID and Wellbeing Online Resources

Coping with Stress

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. Many of us are facing challenges that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but they can make us feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety. Learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and those around you become more resilient.

Visit website here.

Well-being Resources Addressing Resilience During COVID-19

American Hospital Association (AHA)

Well-being resources to address mental health and resilience for clinician leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit website here.

APA Coronavirus Resources

American Psychiatric Association (APA)

To provide support in the response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), APA is collecting authoritative and timely resources in this information hub.

Visit website here.

Mental Health and COVID-19

Mental Health America (MHA)

Our mental health is in constant flux and ebbs and flows on a daily basis. Many things can impact this including our physical health. The connection between our physical body and our mental health is important and may be something worth exploring when thinking about staying mentally healthy. Learn more about whole health and what you can do to improve your overall wellness including preparing for your wellness during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Visit website here.

How has Covid-19 affected wellbeing across the world?

what works wellbeing

From the Centre: This research provides a snapshot of some people’s Covid-19 related experiences, but is not representative of the general population. The survey sample included 3,000 people from 97 diverse countries that experienced different levels of infection and policy responses. People were voluntarily recruited to answer the survey by the Happiness Institute through their existing network and audience. Respondents were predominantly female (83%) and mostly between the ages of 25-34 (32%) and 35- 44 (25%)

Visit website here.

COVID-19 has shifted employer focus to health and wellbeing

Paladina Health

Without a doubt, COVID-19 has upended life in the United States, altering our daily habits and social interactions. It also has changed the way we work, creating many new problems, processes and opportunities, while accelerating some transformations already starting to take place before coronavirus. Employers have confronted unprecedented challenges, both economically and operationally, struggling to maintain a bottom line while still protecting the wellbeing of their employees.

As a result of the financial burdens of COVID-19, health care costs, already spiking before the virus overwhelmed the country, are expected to escalate further. Some experts predict the added cost to be in the billions of dollars. Understanding how companies have experienced and reacted to the coronavirus crisis was the aim of a recent survey sponsored by the nonprofit Business Group on Health.

Visit website here.

Management QOL in the News - November 6, 2020

How to Cope With Election Agony

Arthur C. Brooks

"I don’t feel like getting out of bed,” a friend texted me the morning after the 2016 election, so bereft was she at the outcome. Her disbelief was mixed with sadness, anger, and fear.

She had plentiful company in her misery. “‘Post-election Stress Disorder’ Sweeps the Nation,” PBS NewsHour reported. Within weeks of the election, “post-election anxiety and depression” had entered the mental-health lexicon, with some professionals offering treatments including cranial electrotherapy stimulation and aromatherapy.

I don’t know what treatments people ended up pursuing, or if they were effective. But I do know a therapy for post-election depression that beats them all: winning the next election. Millions of Americans are still waiting today to see if they will benefit from this therapy, as the presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden remains in limbo—an excruciating uncertainty for our nation.

But even if Biden wins, and my friend’s unhappiness is cured, that will not mean suffering has ceased. It will simply have migrated to new sufferers on the other side. Some might argue that this is inevitable in a nation with a system of adversarial, competitive politics. Post-election suffering for the losers is just a cost of doing business, right?

Perhaps it is. But you don’t have to play that game. If your guy ends up losing, you can lessen your suffering with a few straightforward practices. And if your guy won, you have it within your power—if you so choose—to show grace and make things easier on your friends and neighbors who voted the other way, thus making American life a little better for all of us. As we nervously wait for the final result, it is worth making a happiness plan—for ourselves and others—in either contingency.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - October 25, 2020

This island unlocked the secret to long life—and knows how to get through tough times

by Rob Goss

In the village of Ogimi, located in the rural north of Okinawa’s main island, there’s a small stone marker with a few sentences written in Japanese. Roughly translated, they read: “At 80, you are merely a youth. At 90, if your ancestors invite you into heaven, ask them to wait until you are 100—then, you might consider it.”

That’s not bluster. At the latest count, 15 of Ogimi’s 3,000 villagers are centenarians. One hundred and seventy-one are in their 90s. Even in Japan, which currently has more than 70,000 people aged 100 or over, that’s a remarkable statistic.

Before COVID-19, travelers were beginning to take notice. Masataka Nozato at Ogimi Village Office says the town, far removed from the tourist trail, had started to see a slight increase in visitors curious about Okinawan longevity.

Read full article here.

October 15, 2020

Wellbeing in a New Era: Expanding Traditional Perspectives With Global Inclusiveness

The impact of COVID-19 on our health and economies will be felt well beyond the immediate crisis. The effects of the pandemic have led people around the world to take stock of their wellbeing — but “wellbeing” isn’t a uniform concept with a consistent understanding across cultures.

Join Gallup Senior Scientist Ed Diener to learn more about people’s perceptions of wellbeing during COVID-19, and the global research on wellbeing, in a webinar moderated by Gallup’s Editor-in-Chief Mohamed Younis. Diener is a pioneer in the science of happiness and a leader in the movement to use wellbeing metrics to drive public policy.

The webinar will explore some efforts researchers have undertaken to broaden our understanding of wellbeing around the world and establish more inclusive, cross-cultural definitions and measurements. It will also include a discussion on the benefits of wellbeing in your health, work and relationships.

Watch the talk here.

Management QOL in the News - September 9, 2020

The Science of Happiness in Positive Psychology 101

By Katherine Nelson-Coffey, PhD

Happiness has been a human pursuit for as long as we can remember, and positive psychology has taken this concept into the realm of scientific research in hopes of gaining a better understanding of global well-being and meaningful living.

Whether on a global or an individual level, the pursuit of happiness is one that is gaining traction and scientific recognition.

There are many definitions of happiness, and we will also explore those in this article. For now, we invite you to think of a time when you were happy. Were you alone? With others? Inside? Outside.

Read full article here.

The Science of Happiness

Learn how to boost your well‑being with strategies from groundbreaking research in positive psychology, CBT, and mindfulness.

Check out the site here.

What Is the Science of Happiness?

By Meghan Keener, Contributor

The field of positive psychology operates from the premise that we ought to acknowledge both the light and the dark sides of life. It focuses on positive elements of life such as character strengths, positive emotion, resilience, purpose, positive relationships, and creative achievement.

The phrase "the science of happiness" refers to a new field of social science called positive psychology. Contrary to popular belief, it is not "positive thinking" or self-help, but a broad empirical field of research and application worldwide. According to one of its pioneers Chris Peterson, simply put, positive psychology is the study of those things that make life worth living. While traditional psychology is mitigative -- helping us get less of what we don't want and fix the things that are wrong with us -- positive psychology functions constructively in helping us get more of what we do want, and making ourselves better, happier people. The executive director of the International Positive Psychology Association has called it the "psychology of building."

Read full article here.

The Neurochemicals of Happiness

By Christopher Bergland

Life in the human body is designed to be a blissful experience. Our evolutionary biology ensures that everything necessary for our survival makes us feel good. All animals seek pleasure and avoid pain. Therefore, our brain has a wellspring of self-produced neurochemicals that turn the pursuits and struggles of life into pleasure and make us feel happy when we achieve them.

This biological design is generous, but lays dormant in many. In this entry, I will look at seven brain molecules linked to happiness and offer simple ways you can trigger their release in your daily life.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - August 30, 2020

Cultivating Worker Well-Being to Drive Business Value

By Indeed Editorial Team

This report reflects the views of 1,073 business leaders and shows there is universal agreement that prioritizing worker happiness gives companies a competitive advantage (87%), makes it easier to retain talent (96%), and has a positive impact on society as a whole.

Three-quarters of executives surveyed report employee expectations around happiness in the workplace have risen in the last five years, yet 19% of companies have actually made it a strategic priority. These “happiness leaders” are a forward thinking group of employers who report that prioritizing employee happiness can have a meaningful impact on your business. The report outlines the immediate steps companies can take to bring more well-being and happiness into every organization.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - July 5, 2020

Coronavirus has left Americans unhappier than ever. But here's why things are looking up.

By John F. Helliwell, editor of the World Happiness Report

American happiness had been eroding for years. Then the coronavirus happened. Americans are now less happy than they’ve ever been. Now, a new survey looking at happiness post-coronavirus shows that Americans have never been in more despair. According to the COVID Response Tracking Study, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, only 14 percent of American adults are very happy, a huge drop from the 31 percent who were just two years ago.

Read full article here.

On Coronavirus Lockdown? Look for Meaning, Not Happiness

By Emily Esfahani Smith

The coronavirus pandemic has not just threatened the physical health of millions but also wreaked havoc on the emotional and mental well-being of people around the world. Feelings of anxiety, helplessness and grief are rising as people face an increasingly uncertain future — and nearly everyone has been touched by loss. A nationally representative poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that nearly half of all Americans — 45 percent — feel that the coronavirus has negatively affected their mental health.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - June 18, 2020

US happiness level at 50-year low, poll shows


It's been a rough year for the American psyche. Folks in the U.S. are more unhappy today than they've been in nearly 50 years.

This conclusion comes from the COVID Response Tracking Study, conducted in late May, by NORC at the University of Chicago. It finds that just 14% of American adults say they're very happy, down from 31% who said the same in 2018. That year, 23% said they'd often or sometimes felt isolated in recent weeks. Now, the figure is at 50%.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - May 05, 2020

Happiness - What Is Happiness?

Happiness is an electrifying and elusive state. Philosophers, theologians, psychologists, and even economists have long sought to define it. And since the 1990s, a whole branch of psychology—positive psychology—has been dedicated to pinning it down. More than simply positive mood, happiness is a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life, one with a sense of meaning and deep contentment.

Read full article here.


We all want to be happy. But how, exactly, do you go about it? The answers in these TED Talks on happiness — from psychologists, journalists and monks — may surprise you.

View TED Talks on happiness here.

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