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Song contest gives public health boost

Friday May 11th, 2018

The Eurovision Song Contest plays a huge part in improving national well-being, a public health specialist claims today.

The Song Contest, under way this weekend in Lisbon, Portugal, increases national happiness significantly for all those countries taking part, according to an analysis published in the journal BMC Public Health.

People in countries that take part are 13% more satisfied with life than those not participating, according to the analysis.

And a ten-place difference in the final scoring is linked to a 4% increased chance of being satisfied with life, researchers at Imperial College, London, found.

The conclusions come from an analysis of data from more than 160,000 people in 33 countries.

Researcher Dr Filippos Filippidis said: "This finding emerged from a jokey conversation in our department. Our 'day job' involves investigating the effect of public policies, environmental factors and economic conditions on people's lifestyle and health.

“Our department employs people from lots of different countries and around the time of the Eurovision Song Contest we were chatting about whether the competition could also affect a country's national wellbeing.

“We looked into it and were surprised to see there may be a link."

The researchers say there is already evidence linked to sport showing how national achievements improve national mood.

Dr Filippidis said: "Previous work, by other teams around the world, has shown that national events may affect mood and even productivity - for instance research suggests an increase in productivity in the winning city of the US Super Bowl."

F. Filippidis & A. Laverty et al. “Euphoria" or "Only Teardrops"? Eurovision Song Contest performance, life satisfaction and suicide" BMC Public Health 11 May 2018

Tags: Europe | General Health | Mental Health

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