Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Can't Buy Happiness

As the quarter end nears, and the work piles up, stress levels are apparent. I caught part of an NPR show this morning that discussed the relationship between health and vacations. One interesting statistic was that men who worked with no vacations had up to a 30% greater chance of having a heart attack than men who had at least two weeks off a year. Women had a 50% greater chance. The relationship between "Happiness" and vacations was also commented on, and the correlation between vacation (and free time) and Happiness was apparent. Many of the happiest countries are those European and Northern European nations that allow (or in some cases mandate) five and more weeks of vacation a year. The average in the U.S. has fallen to less than two weeks in recent years.

There are numerous lists of Happiest Countries and Happiest Citizens out there, but I couldn't find any that listed the U.S. in the top ten.

The list NPR used (Ruut Veenhoven's database of
happiness) ranks these as the top five: Iceland, Denmark, Colombia, Switzerland, Mexico

Adrian White's list (University of Leicester’s School of Psychology) puts the top ten at:
1. Denmark
2. Switzerland
3. Austria
4. Iceland
5. The Bahamas
6. Finland
7. Sweden
8. Bhutan
9. Brunei
10. Canada

Right now, I'd be pretty happy with sunshine and a couple of weeks off.

1 comment:

Mishon Aileen said...

or maybe you could hop over the border for a day or two and soak up some of Canada's #10 happiest country juju. I mean sunshine is a hard bet in these parts.