Health-related determinants of happiness in Korean adults

Int J Public Health. 2014 Oct;59(5):731-8. doi: 10.1007/s00038-014-0588-0. Epub 2014 Jul 18.


Objectives: Happiness has been associated with a range of favorable health outcomes. The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between happiness and health behaviors, stress, and environmental aspects of exercise in a Korean national representative sample.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted using multiple-stratified random sampling on the Korea Census of 2005. In October 2009, investigators conducted 15-min face-to-face interviews with 1,530 South Korean volunteers aged between 30 and 69 years. The questionnaire included questions about sociodemographic factors, perceived stress, smoking, drinking, healthy diet, exercise, exercise environment, and happiness levels.

Results: The multivariate analysis revealed that middle-aged participants were less likely to be happy than younger and older participants, and higher happiness was associated with being part of a couple, higher income, lower stress, healthy diet, exercise, and certain exercise environments (e.g., mountain trails).

Conclusions: Besides individual-level sociodemographic conditions, such as income or psychological status, community-level conditions, such as environment, should be considered when national and community public welfare policy is established.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Happiness*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Status*
  • Middle Aged
  • Republic of Korea
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires