Quality of life

2019 Quality of Life Index.svg
World map of the 2019 quality-of-life index

Quality of life (QOL), according to Britannica, is the degree to which an individual is healthy, comfortable, and able to participate in or enjoy life events. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines QOL as “an individual’s perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns”. Standard indicators of the quality of life include wealth, employment, the environment, physical and mental health, education, recreation and leisure time, social belonging, religious beliefs, safety, security and freedom. QOL has a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international developmenthealthcarepolitics and employment. Health related QOL (HRQOL) is an evaluation of QOL and its relationship with health.

Engaged Theory

One approach, called engaged theory, outlined in the journal of Applied Research in the Quality of Life, posits four domains in assessing quality of life: ecology, economics, politics and culture.[7] In the domain of culture, for example, it includes the following subdomains of quality of life:

  • Belief and ideas
  • Creativity and recreation
  • Enquiry and learning
  • Gender and generations
  • Identity and engagement
  • Memory and projection
  • Well-being and health

Also frequently related are concepts such as freedom, human rights, and happiness. However, since happiness is subjective and difficult to measure, other measures are generally given priority. It has also been shown that happiness, as much as it can be measured, does not necessarily increase correspondingly with the comfort that results from increasing income. As a result, standard of living should not be taken to be a measure of happiness. Also sometimes considered related is the concept of human security, though the latter may be considered at a more basic level and for all people.

Quantitative measurement

Unlike per capita GDP or standard of living, both of which can be measured in financial terms, it is harder to make objective or long-term measurements of the quality of life experienced by nations or other groups of people. Researchers have begun in recent times to distinguish two aspects of personal well-being: Emotional well-being, in which respondents are asked about the quality of their everyday emotional experiences—the frequency and intensity of their experiences of, for example, joy, stress, sadness, anger, and affection— and life evaluation, in which respondents are asked to think about their life in general and evaluate it against a scale. Such and other systems and scales of measurement have been in use for some time. Research has attempted to examine the relationship between quality of life and productivity. There are many different methods of measuring quality of life in terms of health care, wealth and materialistic goods. However, it is much more difficult to measure meaningful expression of one’s desires. One way to do so is to evaluate the scope of how individuals have fulfilled their own ideals. Quality of life can simply mean happiness, the subjective state of mind. By using that mentality, citizens of a developing country appreciate more since they are content with the basic necessities of health care, education and child protection.

Read more here: Quality of life – Wikipedia

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