Research on conditions for happy teenagers

  • Young people who never drank any alcohol were between four and six times more likely to have higher levels of happiness than those who reported any alcohol consumption.
  • Youth who smoked were about five times less likely to have high happiness scores compared to those who never smoked.
  • Higher consumption of fruit and vegetables and lower consumption of crisps, sweets and fizzy drinks were both associated with high happiness.
  • The more hours of sport youth participated in per week the happier they were.

Implications for urban design would be to:

  • encourage social mix
  • control fast food outlets,
  • ensure that the communities are sufficiently wealthy to support a range of shops selling healthy foods, rather than creating ghettos of low income families.
  • create safe, pleasant streets to encourage active travel
  • design in plenty of parks, open space, play and sports facilities