Spending on Wellness Makes Us Happier, New Research Shows

Wellness spending = increased happiness and longevity.

As consumer spending on wellness has exploded into a multi-trillion market, it raises key questions, like if all this spending is even improving people’s wellbeing? Some would argue no, but new research recently released by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) says, quite definitively… YES!

This is the first-ever quantitative analysis that determined the relationship between wellness spending, health outcomes, and happiness. 

The recently published data reveals that:

  • For every $844 increase in annual wellness spending per person, the average happiness levels increase by nearly 7%.
  • An increase of $769 in wellness spending per capita is associated with 1.26 years of extra life.


These findings bolster the case for a wellness policy, the subject of GWI’s groundbreaking new report released this month: “Defining Wellness Policy,” the first research to define wellness policy and make a compelling, evidence-backed argument as to why it’s so direly needed now.

“As we dived into this research, it quickly became obvious that health and wellness should be embedded in the priorities for all policymaking. Sustainability has been key to policy conversations for so long – but it’s astonishing that no one has talked about wellness as a comprehensive, cross-cutting policy category in government circles.”

Katherine Johnston, GWI senior research fellow

This first report sets the stage for a series of Wellness Policy Toolkits to be released in 2023, which will provide governments, non-profits and businesses a roadmap on how to take action in seven domains of wellness policy: physical activity, healthy eating, mental wellness, traditional/complementary medicine, wellness in the built environment, wellness at work, and wellness in tourism.

To identify the relationship between wellness spending, happiness levels, and health outcomes, GWI researchers partnered with Dr. Shun Wang, a key author and statistician of the World Happiness Report, to develop a soon-to-be released official GWI white paper.

This forthcoming GWI white paper will expand on observed results, analysing the relationships between spending in each wellness sector – whether it be physical activity, healthy food, traditional medicine, or mental wellness – and how it’s associated with outcome measures for health and happiness.

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