UK Well-Being Index
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® is the first and most comprehensive monthly assessment of residents' health and well-being in the United Kingdom. By interviewing 1,000 adults every month, the Well-Being Index provides real-time measurement and insights needed to improve health and well-being, increase productivity, and lower healthcare costs. Public and private sector leaders use data on life evaluation, physical health, emotional health, healthy behaviour, work environment, and basic access to develop and prioritise strategies to help their communities thrive and grow. Academics, medical experts and journalists benefit from this unprecedented resource of health statistics and behavioural economic data to inform their research and reporting.
Recognising a growing need for a national well-being metric with longevity and benchmarking capabilities, Gallup and Healthways developed a sustainable Well-Being Index in the UK, like the version established in the United States in 2008. The 2011 Well-Being Index will measure a real-time view of the public's well-being offering unmatched insight into the UK's health and prosperity.
The Well-Being Index's frequency and breadth will add timely, extensive and globally comparable data to the national debate on well-being. The questions align with surveys Gallup conducts in more than 150 countries, providing a global and regional frame to examine which nations have the highest well-being, what drives well-being, and which policy areas can have the most profound effect on well-being.
Leaders interested in advancing UK residents' well-being can use these data to continuously monitor and analyse metrics known to correlate with real-world economic outcomes and translate findings into effective policies.
The Value of the Well-Being Index Findings
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index will create the new national measure of well-being in the UK for business leaders, academics and public entities, allowing them to:
- Gain a comprehensive and up-to-date view of residents' ongoing well-being, with insight into work environment, economic factors, community influencers, and social, emotional and physical health.
- Use the Index as an economic tool to rank regions and cities by life evaluation, physical health, emotional health, health behaviours, work environment and basic access to necessities like food and shelter.
- Cultivate wellness in the workplace for a more productive, healthy, present and engaged workforce.
- Understand significant contributors to direct medical costs and target ways to address and reduce them.
- Benchmark data nationally, regionally, locally and by industry or demographics.
- Measure public policy implications and effectiveness.
- Justify funding for targeted initiatives.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index tracks the well-being of UK residents in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland throughout the year, interviewing no fewer than 1,000 adults each month. Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and mobile phones.
Each monthly sample includes a minimum quota of 150 mobile phone respondents and 850 landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within region. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which resident had the most recent birthday.
Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, and landline/mobile status. Demographic weighted targets are based on figures from the UK Office for National Statistics for England and Wales, the General Register Office for Scotland, and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency for non-institutionalised adults 18 years and older living in telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.
With the inclusion of the mobile-phone-only households, 98% of the adult population is represented in the sample. By comparison, typical landline-only methodologies represent approximately 82% of the adult population.
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
Gallup and Healthways will report the country's Well-Being Index findings making them available to the public quarterly. Asking the same questions in the UK and the U.S. will provide opportunities for ongoing national comparisons.
The Well-Being Index measures six domains of well-being. Each domain is determined based on scientific study of responses to the survey questions and include:
- Life Evaluation
- Emotional Health
- Physical Health
- Healthy Behaviour
- Work Environment
- Basic Access
The Life Evaluation Index includes a self-evaluation of two items (present life situation and anticipated life situation five years from now) using the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale with steps from 0 to 10, where "0" represents the worst possible life and "10" represents the best possible life. Taken together, respondents are then classified as "thriving," "struggling," or "suffering," with "thriving" respondents evaluating their current state as a "7" or higher and their future state as a "8" or higher, while "suffering" respondents provide a "4" or lower to both evaluations.
Based on The Cantril Ladder Scale
The Emotional Health Index measures respondents' daily experiences and includes:
- Smiling or laughter
- Being treated with respect
- Learning or doing something interesting
The Physical Health Index includes nine items:
- Sick days in the past month
- Disease burden
- Health problems that get in the way of normal activities
- Feeling well-rested
The Healthy Behaviour Index measures lifestyle habits that have established relationships to health outcomes. The index includes four items:
- Eating healthy
- Weekly consumption of fruits and vegetables
- Weekly exercise frequency
The Work Environment Index measures perceptions of work environment and includes four items:
- Job satisfaction
- Ability to use one's strengths at work
- Supervisor's treatment (more like a boss or a partner)
- Supervisor creates an open and trusting work environment
The Basic Access Index measures access to necessities crucial to high well-being and includes 13 items:
- Satisfaction with community or area
- Area getting better as a place to live
- Clean water
- Safe place to exercise
- Affordable fruits and vegetables
- Feel safe walking alone at night
- Enough money for food
- Enough money for shelter
- Enough money for healthcare
- Visited a dentist recently
- Access to a doctor
- Access to health insurance (assumed common, not asked)