Gallup released a report stating that wellbeing in the US is declining.
By Adam Zoltowski
The most recent issue of CATALYST dealt with the issue of wellbeing on an individual, community and national level. It explored strategies to increase wellbeing for ‘all and each’. This is even more relevant as Gallup.com has just released a report claiming that overall, wellbeing in the United States has declined for a third straight month. It reports, ‘The drop reflects decreases in all six components of the index: life evaluation, emotional health, physical health, healthy behavior, work environment, and access to basic necessities.” In a separate study, Gallup reported that the wellbeing among business owners is the highest of any other sector at a score of 73.3, up .08 from the same time last year. Business owners also topped the list of job satisfaction, which tells us a lot about the nature of being an entrepreneur. The lowest on the list were those jobs in the manufacturing sector.
Looking at the list, this tells us that it is business as usual as far as wellbeing in the United States goes. While its good that entrepreneurs are experiencing wellbeing, the average American is not. Manufacturing, transportation, and services are the lowest sectors on the list. As we are more and more becoming a service economy, the wellbeing of this sector is absolutely essential. Other reports on Gallup also found that those with longer commutes have lower wellbeing than most, that currently 1 in 6 nationwide do not have health insurance, and that current employment problems may be hurt even more by the increasing level of national obesity.
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These are all signs that point to individual wellbeing feeding into the whole of the country. Starting from a personal level, it’s essential to establish what creates wellbeing for each of us. For most of us it starts with our jobs, extends to our economic wellbeing and finally to our relationships with our families, friends, and loved ones. If happiness is indeed an economic indicator, I am not so sure how well we are doing. We need to take new approaches to wellbeing at the workplace, starting with those who work in the sectors that need it most. If we can improve the wellbeing of people in ‘blue collar’ jobs, then the wellbeing experience should work itself upwards to higher levels of management and business leaders who depend on their output for company profits. This is not only good for individuals but also good for the nation as a whole.