Ever since Aristotle, Confucius, and Jefferson humans have known about the importance of wellbeing and the pursuit of happiness.

But how do we achieve it?

Now, science has made discoveries about the nature of wellbeing and the superior mental, physical, and emotional benefits that result from it.

These discoveries come from many fields including neuroscience, psychology, occupational health, sociology, and economics. Read about the discoveries in the personal health and workplace below.

The pursuit of happiness is more accessible than the sages ever dreamt thanks to scientific discoveries and tools like MAP’s new scientifically validated wellbeing assessment, algorithms, and deep health technology that take the search for better wellbeing to a new frontier.

Read more about How It Works and Happiness and Wellbeing.

Higher life satisfaction amongst employees is associated with better revenue, sales, and profits.

What are the Workplace Benefits?

Happiness can benefit work and workplace in more ways than we think.

Mental benefits include an increase in motivation and an improved ability to integrate information.

Social benefits include better relationships and more cooperation.

Key discoveries include:

  • Happiness can increase curiosity, creativity and motivation.
  • When we’re happy we are more likely to be cooperative and collaborative during negotiations.
  • Positive emotions make us more productive.
  • When happier at work we’re more likely to be rated highly for financial performance and generally by our leaders.
  • Workers who experience high wellbeing are 81% less likely to seek out a new employer in the next year.
  • Employees with the highest wellbeing levels miss 41% less work due to poor health and are 65% less likely to be involved in a workplace accident.
  • Well-being can actually be a more important contributor to on-the-job productivity than an employee's chronic disease status such as diabetes.
  • Leaders who are actively seen to exhibit wellbeing behaviors are more likely to have team members with high wellbeing levels.
  • Wellbeing increases our clarity about roles and responsibilities and how to accomplish tasks ahead of deadlines.
  • Better wellbeing reduces employee turnover, sick days and absenteeism.
  • Happiness at a point in time in our working life is associated with higher income later in our life
  • Greater life satisfaction amongst employees is associated with better revenue, sales, and profits.
many people connected by one

MAP has a scientifically validated understanding of how the benefits of workplace wellbeing are more likely with high levels of personal wellbeing.

This workplace-personal life connection happens because your personal life and your life at work interact and influence each other in a two-way flow.

Read more about How MAP Works

“Well-being programs should be considered as an investment rather than a cost.”

American Journal of Public Health, 2015

Personal Benefits

Happiness can improve a team’s ability to integrate information. It can also broaden attention and focus that improves behavior and decision-making, leading to rich personal benefits.

Happiness will promote these positive traits in your team and workplace culture:

  • Resilience and the ability to actualize long term goals. A person is more likely to be willing not to accept an immediate, smaller benefit, in order to obtain a larger benefit in the future if they have higher subjective wellbeing.,
  • Confidence and the ability to adapt. People with high wellbeing levels are twice as likely to say they always adapt well to change.
  • Generosity. High wellbeing levels are associated with being 23% more likely to donate money
  • Kindness. You're 43% more likely to have volunteered when you have higher wellbeing levels.

Good for team. Good for organizational culture. Great for society.

jumping person

See How it Works

“The happiest people pursue the most difficult problems.”

Harvard Business Review, 2013

Health and Lifestyle

The mind and body are connected.

Happiness and wellbeing strengthen the physical systems underlying health, immunity, and living longer. They also improve lifestyle behaviors.

Benefits include:

  • People are 36% more likely to fully bounce back after an illness when they have high wellbeing levels.
  • Positive feelings reduce inflammatory, hormonal problems (neuro-endocrine), and cardiovascular function.
  • Better wellbeing improves mental and psychological health.
  • High subjective-wellbeing (happiness) can help a person to stop smoking, eat a healthy diet, do exercise, and lose weight.

Plus, Positive emotions can speed up recovery from injury and disease.

stethescope and a brain

Positive mood is associated with lower rates of viral infections, stroke and heart disease.

Happier individuals are more likely to live longer. For example, a 2015 worldwide study of older-aged people who had higher subjective wellbeing found a 300% increased chance of being alive 8.5 years later.

Did you know that happiness is as important as not smoking for how long you live?

For more insights on the current scientific research on mechanisms that connect the mind and body, read below about the Whitehall Study and the Brain.

For insights on the scientifically validated mechanisms and wellbeing assessment that MAP uses to improve happiness and wellbeing, read about How It Works.

Reduced autonomy and control at work directly causes health problems

Social Status and Autonomy

Many public health studies have discovered that better wellbeing is connected to positive outcomes.

A 2012 study of 11,000 men and women aged over 50, for example, found that those in the top 25% who reported enjoyment in life, were 28.7% less likely to die. In other words, enjoyment in life is associated with living longer.

But then the question comes to mind: ‘Do people aged over 50, who live longer simply report more enjoyment in life because they haven’t died yet?’

Mechanisms have been discovered that explain how wellbeing directly causes positive outcomes.

Whitehall Study

The Whitehall Study made a valuable discovery because it found

  • connections between better wellbeing and positive outcomes, and also
  • causes

It is the largest longitudinal study of people in the workplace in the world, investigating more than 10,000 UK civil servants aged 35-55 years old since 1985. Analysis of the civil servants is ongoing and published as a series of studies.

org chart

A key discovery is that social status is a major cause of ill-health, like heart disease.

However, the cause is not one of income or lifestyle, but the psychological experience of inequality - how much control your team has and the opportunities for social participation - that profoundly affects health. Discoveries revealed that workers have an intrinsic need for autonomy and social engagement.

The Whitehall Study also revealed mechanisms that showed reduced autonomy and control at work directly causes health problems.

One mechanism revealed that more stress amongst workers reduced their heart rate variability and, thereby, increased the risk of heart disease. Another mechanism showed that stress increased levels of the hormones cortisol and catecholamines, which increased the risk of diabetes.

MAP is a unique scientifically validated survey that measures workplace wellbeing. It takes into account hierarchy at work, by designating workers into distinct groups called Quadrants.

Read more about Quadrants

Read more about How MAP Works

A Positive mood increases activity of the brain centre associated with curiosity and creativity

The Brain

Neuroscience is another branch of science that shows how better wellbeing can lead to positive outcomes.

Discoveries show how wellbeing affects the brain’s functions and even its structure.


Studies have discovered that natural brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) like dopamine increase with better wellbeing. One mechanism shows that dopamine embeds a positive feedback loop, so when you respond to something positive in your life, this makes you better able to seek and receive something else positive at a later time.

Researchers have looked at centers in the brain using imaging technology. In 2009 a study revealed that positive mood led to increased activity of the brain centre associated with increased curiosity and creativity. brain with a plus sign


Neuroscientists have discovered that the brain’s structure changes in response to how we think and feel. Studies show that mindfulness training (a type of meditation linked to improved wellbeing in psychological studies) increases nerve tissue in parts of the brain that regulate thought processes and emotion.

For insights on the mechanisms that MAP uses in its scientifically validated wellbeing assessment to improve happiness and wellbeing in workplaces,

Read How MAP Works


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