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What Makes Singaporeans Happiest? Hint: It’s Not Money or Career

by Voices Wellness 08 Jul 2021
Photo: Unsplash

The Live Happily Ever Active survey by Virgin Active Singapore asked 1,000 participants aged 25 to 54 years to share their key thoughts about happiness.

The Lion City is no stranger to topping the ranks of various global indexes, but when it comes to happiness, not quite. In the World Happiness Report 2020, Singapore is placed 31st in terms of happiness. What does happiness mean to a city-state of citizens known for their efficiency and workaholic tendencies? And are they happy with their physical and mental wellbeing?

These questions are the impetus behind the Live Happily Ever Active survey held in May this year by Virgin Active Singapore, the local outpost of the international health club chain. The survey asked 1,000 participants—510 women and 490 men aged 25 to 54 years to share their key thoughts about happiness with regards to finances, health, career, relationships, and more.

Photo: Unsplash

Some note-worthy questions include “What aspects are you happy about at this point of time?” and “How would you define happiness?” The study showed that typical markers of success like financial stability or a good career took a backseat for priorities like health, with 9 in 10 Singaporeans associating happiness with leading a healthy life. In fact, 50 percent chose health as the most important factor.

95 percent of women and 97 percent of men noted that staying active had a positive impact on their physical, mental, and emotional health. Both millennials aged between 25 to 34 and those aged 35 and above stayed active with mainly home-based exercise routines due to COVID-19 measures. Participants said that leading an active lifestyle helps them to destress, feel stronger mentally, and focus better.

Among the women aged 25 to 34 who chose to stay active, 22 percent preferred streaming fitness classes from the comfort of home, while 16 percent preferred outdoor activities like basketball or tennis. Meanwhile, men of the same age group showed a preference for outdoor activities (33 percent) over virtual classes (13 percent).

Photo: Virgin Active

Even with the ongoing pandemic, 80 percent said that they were happy in the current stage of their lives. Second to health is having good relationships with loved ones, for both men and women at 67 percent and 70 percent, respectively. Social distancing measures may have a part to play in the results, as absence makes the heart fonder. Despite heightened isolation, locals still had meaningful connections at the fore of their minds and would make the effort to maintain strong relationships.

In a nutshell, it seems like Singaporeans are shifting their priorities towards their wellbeing and personal relationships in light of the global epidemic and starting to place a higher importance on intrinsic happiness.

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