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Money worries affecting UK wellbeing, says report

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Financial stability is the factor most affecting the wellbeing of UK citizens, according to a new report.

Research by health and wellbeing charity Central YMCA has revealed a 52% divide in wellbeing scores between the most and least financially confident people in society.

Being happy with your finances causes a 19% uplift in wellbeing scores, while being extremely worried about money causes a 33% fall, according to research undertaken for the report – which questioned a nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults on 14 statements relating to wellbeing and how various lifestyle factors affect these.

Britain’s financial inequality gap is said to be widening, with research by Oxfam this year revealing that the richest 1% of the UK population owns more than 20 times the wealth of the poorest fifth.

Another 2015 study by the London School of Economics found that young people in their 20s were 18% worse off than 20 year olds were just five years ago, indicating the speed of change.

Rosi Prescott, chief executive at Central YMCA, says: “The issues affecting wellbeing in today’s society are complex and wide-ranging, so it comes as no surprise to see that lifestyle factors including activity, relationships, finances, mental stimulation, and experiences of education, have a significant impact on the quality of our lives. Sadly, the growing financial inequality in today’s society is enormously corrosive to the wellbeing of those affected”.

Other factors significantly impacting wellbeing were: lacking good relationships, which led to a 50% swing in scores; lacking mental stimulation, which brought about a 48% divide; while a 32% gap was present between the most and least physically active residents in the UK.

She added: “It’s now vital that we recognise the importance of working towards achieving a healthy balance of physical activity, mental stimulation, and positive relationships – all which have a significant impact on our feelings of wellbeing. As a reduction in any of these can seriously undermine our ability to flourish.”

In total, the average Brit scored 6.13/10 on an index for their overall wellbeing, while the three wellbeing statements that the general population were the least likely to agree with were:

  1. I’ve had energy to spare (5.0/10)
  2. I’ve been feeling relaxed (5.65/10)
  3. I’ve been feeling good about myself (5.73/10)

The activities people reported as most likely to boost wellbeing were being on holiday (66%), being with family (56%), and when socialising with friends (49%).

For the full report findings please visit: http://www.ymca.co.uk/eudaimonia-report

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