Happiness Predicts Health

Are happier people, healthier people? The relationship between perceived happiness, personal control, bmi and health preventive behaviours


This study aimed to identify the extent to which levels of happiness and self-efficacy could predict preventive health behaviours and BMI.


Data was collected from 100 adults (59% female), mean age 24.75 years, measuring happiness, generalised self-efficacy beliefs, BMI, health preventive behaviours, age and gender.


Results indicate that both happiness and generalised self efficacy are salient for health preventive behaviours, explaining 20% and 26% of the variance respectively. Relationships were also noted whereby generalised self efficacy (r = -.16, p < .05) and happiness (r = -.16, p < .05) both negatively correlated with BMI. Finally, post hoc analysis revealed that there is a significant positive relationship between happiness and generalised self-efficacy (r = .57, p < .001).


Evidence presented here suggests that happiness and high self-efficacy beliefs can significantly enhance health protective behaviours. Moreover, those who express higher levels of happiness, also exhibit higher levels of self efficacy and have a lower BMI. Suggestions are made to tailor health promotion campaigns towards enhancing mood and personal control beliefs.

Get in touch