It’s great outdoors

Mick Barton and Shaun Dullaghan
Mick Barton and Shaun Dullaghan

PEOPLE who work outdoors are far happier than those working in offices the latest report from The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals.

Responses from people quizzed on how they think and feel about their lives for the first ONS annual National Well-Being Report, so called happiness index.

According to the report sewer workers, farmers and those working in the forestry industry have one of the highest “happiness index” in the region.

The results come from the first Integrated Household Survey of 200,000 people aged 16 and over between April 2011 and March 2012 across the UK.

It was conducted as part of the Prime Minister’s initiative, launched in 2010, to assess the wellbeing of the nation alongside economic data like GDP.

But when you look at the jobs that people do, it appears that great responsibility does not necessarily bring happiness. For the people who run companies, the managers, directors and senior officials, the average “life satisfaction” rate is seven per cent.

Compared with employees working outdoors who rated overall happiness 7.8 per cent.

Mick Barton a sewer worker with United Utilities said, “Laughter is the best exercise for the heart and we get plenty of exercise from being in and out of blocked sewer pipes all day.

“The work I do helping customers who have recently been flooded or clearing a blocked sewer pipe is very motivating. The benefits and opportunities and the work environment all have an impact on how you feel during the working day.”

The research appears to show that happiness differs in accordance with ethnic background, sex and health. In general, three quarters rated their overall life satisfaction as seven out of 10 or higher.

Glenn Everett, ONS programme director for the Measuring National Well-being Programme, said: “By examining and analysing both objective statistics as well as subjective information, a more complete picture of national wellbeing can be formed.”