Study: Healthy eating or abstinence from alcohol: Which resolutions really make us happier

Putting the New Year's resolution into practice on a healthier diet increases life satisfaction particularly strongly.

Study: Healthy eating or abstinence from alcohol: Which resolutions really make us happier

Putting the New Year's resolution into practice on a healthier diet increases life satisfaction particularly strongly. This is the result of a special evaluation of the SKL happiness atlas, for which researchers from the University of Freiburg examined the effects of good intentions on life satisfaction.

Healthy eating brings the most luck: Those who pay close attention to this in the new year and have not done so before increase their life satisfaction by 0.15 points - on a scale between 0 and 10. According to the researchers, this corresponds to the increase in happiness a salary increase of ten percent. "Less sugar and fat, more fruit and vegetables improve our well-being in the long term," the authors of the study concluded.

In second place is the resolution to watch less television. Those who only turn on the television once or twice a week instead of every day are 0.11 points happier. A good film or a social get-together in front of the television could increase joie de vivre or well-being, but "permanent, passive staring" is problematic, according to the study.

More sport - regularly once a week - brings 0.09 happiness points compared to no sporting activity at all. According to the study, just one hour of gymnastics per week has a positive impact on happiness.

The intention to lose weight is particularly popular: According to the information, 36 percent of Germans intend to do so by 2023. Simply losing body weight does not increase well-being, according to the study. Those who only lose weight also suffer from hunger pangs. However, looking at the scale after losing weight brings 0.07 points more satisfaction.

Even the good resolution to quit smoking has comparatively little effect on life satisfaction after implementation - only 0.04 points. "This may have to do with the fact that nicotine withdrawal is quite painful," write the study authors. Thus, many new non-smokers compensate for smoking by overeating; they also lose an opportunity to reduce stress.

According to the survey, anyone who decides to drink less alcohol will not gain any happiness in life. Although the state of health is improving, the number of social contacts is also decreasing. Because in Germany, alcohol consumption and socializing are still connected. "Anyone who manages to avoid alcohol and at the same time continue to meet friends as often as possible gains happiness in life," says the study.

The happiness atlas published by Deutsche Post and now by the Süddeutsche Klassenlotterie (SKL) at the end of last year is being created by the Freiburg scientist Bernd Raffelhüschen. Several happiness atlas surveys from 2017, 2019 and 2020 were used for the special evaluation.

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