Wellbeing Levels Increase For People In Late 60s, Research Shows

happy and grumpy old men
John Rensten via Getty Images
happy and grumpy old men

People in their late sixties experience an increase in wellbeing, research has shown.

A study of more than 3,000 participants by the Medical Research Council (MRC) revealed that wellbeing levels increase in those who are approaching 70 years old.

Participants were tested on a range of mental wellbeing measures including feeling cheerful, confident, optimistic, useful and relaxed.

There was a huge improvement across all wellbeing categories in people aged 69, compared to those who were aged 60 to 64.

This was despite the fact that most of the group lived with at least one chronic illness such as arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure.

The MRC's National Survey for Health and Development (NSHD) was launched in March 1946 when thousands of newly-born babies were recruited into the study.

One of its aims is to look at how individuals change over time in order to pinpoint common experiences that make us happy.

Study author Dr Mai Stafford, from the Medical Research Council Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing (LHA) at University College London, said: "What we've found is that, on average, levels of wellbeing increased during people's sixties.

"We found that one in five experienced a substantial increase in wellbeing in later life, although we also found a smaller group who experienced a substantial decline."

Researchers now plan to study what experiences and circumstances are linked to the increase in wellbeing.

MRC's research echoes a study released earlier this year by the Office Of National Statistics, which suggested that wellbeing levels across the UK steadily increase in those aged 60 and over.

It also found that between the ages of 40 and 60 years old, anxiety levels peak with people aged 50-54 suffering the most.

Before You Go