Here's to Harvard Finding Its Happy Place - Virgin Pulse

New innovations across Virgin Pulse's Homebase for Health® Learn More

Enter search term and hit Enter

Here’s to Harvard Finding Its Happy Place

May 6, 2016 / Uncategorized

health and happiness at workMy daughter fell down the other day and immediately started crying. It was just a minor scratch, so my wife and I calmed her by saying, “Don’t worry, be happy.”

As any parent of a toddler can appreciate, she quickly wiped away the tears and provided that dreaded, but always emphatic, response:


I’m happy to know I’ll soon have a more scientific-based answer for her.

Recently, the Harvard School of Public Health held a launch ceremony to unveil its new Center for Health and Happiness. The center, officially named the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness, will bring together experts in a variety of fields with the goal of making discoveries that can “inform personal behaviors, medical care, public health programs, and wide-ranging public policies not traditionally associated with healthcare and medicine but that can help people live longer, happier and healthier lives.”

It’s a big undertaking in the world of wellbeing. Having one of the world’s preeminent institutions acknowledge the importance of wellbeing is a giant step toward putting to rest any doubt in its value.

According to Harvard School of Public Health, some of the early initiatives of the center will be to:

Identify and develop a “happiness index” to serve as a measurement instrument to assess psychological wellbeing in a more complex way than currently exists

Understand the relationship between psychological wellbeing, cardiovascular health, aging and longevity

Determine the effects of interventions that promote psychological wellbeing, such as mindfulness-based practices on health and happiness

Examine the role of communications on engagement, health and happiness

As one of the center’s co-directors, Laura Kubzansky, a professor of social and behavioral health at Harvard University, told The Atlantic, “One of the wonderful things about studying health is that there’s no single discipline that’s going to answer the big questions.” Indeed, wellbeing is complex. Bringing together some of the world’s leading experts in fields such as medicine, biology, psychology, health communications, nutrition and exercise physiology not only allows us to better understand it, but to take an unprecedented and holistic view of health, happiness and its true impact on our lives.

We need more global leaders to recognize the power of wellbeing and its central role in helping people live better. We need them to realize that health is connected to friends and close relationships, and influenced by the presence of positivity in our lives.

Virgin Pulse, ShapeUp and Global Corporate Challenge united to create a global force for good

It all sounds nice, but health and happiness deliver real results too. We’ve seen it. By helping people make small, sustainable habit changes that lead to better behaviors, we’ve helped organizations become better, happier, places to work. Our members share that they are more engaged with and focused on their jobs. Their companies, in turn, realize the benefits of a more productive and present employee base. And it all starts with an understanding of and appreciation for the power of health and happiness.

It’s nice to have such a prestigious partner, in our own backyard nonetheless, join us in the march toward helping people and organizations operate at their best.

Harvard’s on board. Has a nice ring to it, right? I’ll have to tell my daughter about it later. I’m sure she’ll be happy to hear it.

Ready to help your organization find its happy place? Download our tip sheet to discover why culture is key to creating a happy, productive workforce.


Bryan Mahoney is the Director of Content Marketing at Virgin Pulse.  He brings more than a decade’s worth of experience as a content producer and blends his interests in all things wellbeing to help organizations become the best places to work. A former marathon champ, he now balances running with family by constantly chasing after his two-year-old daughter, Gia.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *