It's that time of year when we all resolve to be happier and healthier, and that often means better eating and more exercise. But in a culture of "Big Data," why not look to data to know what makes us happier and healthier? And what better place than the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which has been following two cohorts of white men (sorry ladies) for almost eighty years, since 1938.
Now under the direction of Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, the study monitors physical health and keeps tabs on social activities, quality of marriage, and job satisfaction. The result? Good relations are the best way to stay happy and healthy. Younger folks are happier with more relationships, older folks with a few quality relationships. And everyone does better with a strong, supportive marriage. "Over these 75 years," Waldinger says, "our study has shown that the people who fared the best were the people who leaned in to relationships with family, with friends, with community."
Fitbits and gyms, diets and triathalons may help, but it all comes back to people.
And now you know.