Quality of life

Quality of life is the degree of well being felt by an individual or group of people. Unlike standard of living, quality of life is not a tangible concept, and therefore cannot be measured directly. Furthermore, quality of life consists of two components. The first is a physical aspect, which includes such things as health, diet, as well as protection against pain and disease. The second component is psychological in nature. This aspect includes such things as stress, worry, pleasure and other positive or negative emotional states. It is virtually impossible to predict the quality of life of a specific individual, since the combination of attributes that leads one individual to be content is rarely the same for another individual. However, one can assume with some confidence the higher average level of diet, shelter, safety, as well as freedoms and rights a general population has, the better overall quality of life said population experiences.

Understanding quality of life is today particularly important in health care, where monetary measures do not readily apply. Decisions on what research or treatments to invest the most in are closely related to their effect on a patient’s quality of life.

Organizational well-being looks at related factors from a corporate perspective, although this agenda is also informed by the employers’ duty-of-care and external drivers such as the UK Health and Safety Executive’s Management Standards for Stress. Organizational well-being looks at well-being issues that affect a company’s staff and manages them to drive change and improve performance.

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