Quality of life

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Summary

Quality of life (QOL) is the general well-being of individuals and societies. QOL has a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, politics and employment. Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of living, which is based primarily on income. Instead, standard indicators of the quality of life include not only wealth and employment but also the built environment, physical and mental health, education, recreation and leisure time, and social belonging.

Details

According to ecological economist Robert Costanza:

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. In the domain of culture, for example, it includes the following subdomains of quality of life:

• Identity and engagement • Creativity and recreation • Memory and projection • Belief and ideas • Gender and generations • Enquiry and learning • Wellbeing 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.

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External Links

  • WikipediaThe First European Quality of Life Survey 2003Quality of Life in a Changing EuropeEnsuring quality of life in Europe's cities and townsAQoL InstrumentsApplied Research in Quality of Life

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