People in Hampshire are among the unhappiest in the UK, according to official data.

Government researchers quizzed 150,000 people from all corners of the UK on their personal well-being.

The study conducted by the Office for National Statistics found Winchester, one of the country’s most affluent towns, had the lowest happiness score in Hampshire, and second overall in the UK scoring 6.96 out of 10.

Data from the ONS showed that Winchester also had the most significant deterioration with an 11.5% annual decline in its happiness score from last year.

Andover Advertiser: Rachel Adams 23.6.15 Winchester High Street from the top of the King Alfred statue.Rachel Adams 23.6.15 Winchester High Street from the top of the King Alfred statue.

Neighbouring town Eastleigh also fared badly, ranking as the third unhappiest place in the UK, scoring 6.97, with Fareham placed 19th most unhappy in the UK.

Since 2001 the ONS has asked adults these questions:

  • 'How satisfied are you with your life nowadays?'
  • 'To what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?'
  • 'How happy did you feel yesterday?'
  • 'How anxious did you feel yesterday?'.

Participants were asked to respond on a scale of zero to 10, zero means 'not at all' and 10 is 'completely'. 

According to ONS, this year saw the largest annual increase in anxiety since they began measuring personal well-being.

It seems that Covid-19 and Brexit contributed to UK’s ‘steep increase’ in anxiety and reduction in happiness with 10 million Britons each week now saying their mental health isn’t great.

A study this week from the Royal College of Psychiatrists also found there had been an “explosion” in anxiety in Britain over the last decade, with researchers concluding that ‘Britain has a really serious and worsening problem with anxiety, which can have a devastating effect on people’s lives.”

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However, a recent study from Harvard Health concluded that people who exercise frequently have 1.5 fewer “bad days” per month compared to those who don’t exercise, and that there is a 26% reduction in the risk of major depression among people who run for 15 minutes a day.

Mayathon, a free app designed to help people buddy-up virtually with friends to feel healthier, happier and more connected, is now launching an October Challenge targeting Hampshire as part of its ‘Happy Heroes’ campaign. 

The October Challenge will help local residents improve their physical and mental wellbeing by encouraging them to buddy-up virtually with up to 5 friends or colleagues to complete 26 minutes of exercise each day for 26 days.

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“Happy Heroes” such as former local athletes, sports clubs, and personal trainers have been enlisted in an effort to buddy-up virtually with their local community and network of friends to support each other to exercise each day.

Robert Tansey, CEO and Founder of mayathon, said: ‘We’re on a mission to increase the well-being and happiness of people in Winchester, Eastleigh and across Hampshire.

“We know that mayathon works as our May campaign saw thousands of people participate and their average mood scores increased by an amazing 25% after doing some activity. 

“Plus, those who took on the May challenge with a buddy found it much easier both to start and to stick with the challenge. We can't wait to help our Hampshire Heroes be healthier and happier using buddy power.”

The mayathon challenge starts on 1 October, running through to 26 October to find out more click here.