Making wellbeing a policy priority: lessons from the 2021 World Happiness Report–The Brookings Institution, April 6, 2021
Every year, the World Happiness Report tracks individual life satisfaction and the emotional “temperature” of societies around the world. In the new report, three lessons stand out for improving societal wellbeing and sustainable economies (the two go hand-in-hand): (1) Mental health has declined—especially among the most vulnerable; (2) Greater trust in others and institutions is linked to higher wellbeing; (3) Worker wellbeing is linked to labor market protections and social safety nets. What is remarkable is how simple these lessons are and how much variance there is across countries.
Inactivity kills millions, but movement is the ‘miracle pill’ that could save people and the planet–Euronews, March 30, 2021
This is about a new book: The Miracle Pill—which is about how physical activity is the strongest medicine. The argument may seem a bit far-fetched, but it is nonetheless true and explains why cities are currently being redesigned. All over the world, cities are being greened because of environmental concerns, but also—as this article explains—because of public health concerns. More and more, cities are redesigned to allow for “incidental movement”: the activity that happens naturally throughout our day; not purposeful exercise, but rather things like making walking to shops or cycling to work easy.
China’s tech hub Shenzhen moves ahead with GDP alternative–GEP, or Gross Ecosystem Product–that measures value of ecosystem goods and services–South China Morning Post, March 24, 2021
This is a practical example of going “beyond GDP” and applying nature-based solutions. The Chinese megacity of Shenzhen has introduced a Gross Ecosystem Product (GEP)—corresponding to the total value of the natural ecosystem’s goods and services (such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, deserts, fresh water and oceans, and artificial systems based on natural processes like farmland, pastures, aquaculture farms and urban green land) supplied to human wellbeing in a region annually. GEP is being captured through an automated accounting platform with 19 indicators ranging from agriculture to air purity. If the utility of this model proves effective, it will become a role model across China and possibly for cities and countries around the world.
How the Physical Body Holds Mental Tension–Elemental, April 7, 2021
The article explores the connection between mind, body, posture and stress. The relationship between thoughts and body tension is murky and complex but obvious: The two are interrelated. It can be summed up by the following: “Every change in the physiological state is accompanied by an appropriate change in the mental-emotional state, conscious or unconscious, and conversely, every change in the mental-emotional state, conscious or unconscious, is accompanied by an appropriate change in the physiological state.”
A Striking Stat: Wellness Surging as a Global Consumer Priority
79% of global consumers now report that wellness is important, with 42% considering it a top priority. Every market surveyed reported a big increase (27–65%) in the prioritization of wellness in the last 2–3 years.
Source: McKinsey survey of Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, UK and US – reported April 2021