More cause for winter blues: Russia scores low in global life quality poll

A recent survey conducted by Ipsos Global Research for Philips revealed that the Russian lifestyle is deeply affected by stress, low income, their environment and poor health, scoring a miserable 37 out of 100 on the index of well-being.

More than 1,000 citizens from 30 countries participated in the survey between March and April 2011, with Russia being a new-comer this year. Participants were asked to rate different aspects of their lives such as their health, work, family, the environment and their spiritual well-being on a scale of 1 to 100. As a result, the portrait of an average Russian consisted of sleep-deprivation and unhappiness at the workplace. Family and friends were a major priority among Russians.

Based on the responses, sociologists compiled several indexes which then created the overall index of well-being, on which Russia scored 37 out of 100, considerably lower than the world average of 57.

The most satisfied nations turned out to be the United Arab Emirates (88), Saudi Arabia (78) and India (72) while Turkey, Italy and Japan scored even lower Russia.

The most important indicators for Russians were living costs, mentioned by 90% of respondents, as well as health (89%) and relationships (89%), while 75% of Russians were dissatisfied with their wages. The survey showed most Russians were unhappy with their spiritual health.

One noteworthy point was that while Russians were determined to live long, they showed surprisingly little concern for their health, possibly due to the rising costs of healthcare. Many complained of chronic stress and sleep problems and visited the dentist no more than once every three years.

More than 80 percent of Russian respondents were unhappy with their environment, which is unsurprising as a recent UN study showed that Russia topped the charts with an extremely high rate of murders, along with Honduras and several African countries.

This is not the first time that Russians were unhappy with their quality of life. In 2005, The Economist Intelligence Unit’s quality-of-life index, which included data from 111 countries and territories, ranked Russia 105th, while in 2009, the British think-tank New Economics Foundation (NEF) introduced the Happy Planet Index based on human well-being and environmental impact, in which Russia came 108th out of 147, remarkably scoring higher than the United States which came in at 144..

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