What has the biggest impact on our wellbeing at different points in our lives?

The Centre is part of the What Works Network, which work together to make evidence on ‘what works’ accessible for decision-makers across a range of sectors. This blog is a collaboration between different centres in the network.

Things that affect our wellbeing at any point in our lives, tend also to have a big influence later on. So what impacts our wellbeing at different points in our lives? What are the patterns and common drivers of wellbeing through childhood, adulthood and later years? Gathering evidence on wellbeing across the lifecourse is important to help answer these questions. And gathering it in a coordinated way across all the centres ensures the evidence is not conflicting or confusing for decision-makers.

Some factors are universally important for wellbeing, across individuals, groups and cultures. The importance of each factor differs from person to person, but we know, for example, that between 30% and 50% of the variation in our wellbeing depends on our genetics.

That means 50% or more of the variation in our wellbeing can be influenced by our experiences in childhood, adulthood, and later life.

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