VISITING the library, dancing and going swimming can make people as happy as a £5000 (R89000) salary increase, a new study shows.
Researchers from the London School of Economics found that sports, culture and the arts have a significant impact on people’s happiness. They then assessed how much money it would take to give people a similar boost in their level of wellbeing.
They concluded that playing sport each week is equivalent to being given an extra £1127 (R20000) a year on average, while regular involvement in the arts through enjoying music, dance or plays, for example, is worth £1084 (R19300) a year.
The most beneficial activity, apparently, is taking part in dancing, worth £1671 (R29740), closely followed by swimming which is worth £1630 (R29000) a year. Visiting libraries regularly is worth £1359 (R24200) a year.
The researchers analysed 40000 British households, stripping out the impact of other factors on people’s happiness such as age, wealth, health, children and education.
The report suggested that swimming had a more significant impact on wellbeing than almost any other sport, almost twice as much as soccer or cycling.
It found people who enjoyed the arts were 5.4% more likely to report good health, while those involved in sport were 14.1% more likely to be healthy.
People who take part in sports save almost £100 (R1780) a year in health costs. – Daily Telegraph