Ever wondered which country offers the best work/life balance? Sleep Junkie has analyzed a number of metrics in order to find which countries around the world are sleeping the most, working the least, and living the longest.
The metrics explored included the average number of working hours and annual leave, the percentage of people getting a good night’s sleep, as well as people’s happiness and life expectancy. The data also reveals how many people are searching for help on the Internet when they can’t sleep. You can explore the study’s findings here.
So, which countries are leading the way? Let’s take a look at the habits of the top three:
Luxembourg comes in top place with an overall score of 85.2 out of 100. More than half (53%) of the population in Luxembourg gets between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night which gives them a score of 9.5 out of 10 in the sleep category. Not only that, but, employees receive more annual leave the older they get; those working over the age of 55 get as many as 36 days of paid annual leave every year, which is over triple that of Malaysia.
Just missing out on the top spot with a total weighted score of 84.6 out of 100 is Austria. With a score of 9.3 out of 10 for happiness, as well as 55% of the population getting between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night, it’s no surprise that Austria has come in second place. The combination of good sleep and 5 days more annual leave than the UK results in residents of Austria also having one of the highest life expectancies in the world.
Denmark comes in closely behind Austria with an overall score of 84.3 out of 100. Employees in Denmark work 3 hours a week less than those in the USA and earn 25 more days of annual leave. Residents are amongst some of the happiest in the world with a happiness score of 9.8 out of 10, not to mention 54% of residents are said to be getting between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night, making Denmark one of the best countries in the world for lifestyle.
Below are the 10 best countries on our lifestyle index:
*overall score weight is out of 100
How do the UK and USA compare?
When it comes to work-life balance, there are some major differences between Americans and Brits. The UK comes in the top 20 finishing in 17th place, with an overall score of 74.9 out of 100. The UK scored 10 out of 10 for sleep alongside Ireland and Iceland, with 56% of the population getting between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night. The UK also scored highly for happiness with a score of 9.1 out of 10 and life expectancy with a score of 9.6 out of 10.
The USA scores fairly low compared to the rest of the world, with a dismal score of 51.8 out of 100, however, this could be due to the annual leave score which is 0, as employees are not legally entitled to any paid leave. Despite scoring low overall, 54% of residents in the US get between 7 and 8 hours of good sleep every night. The life expectancy is 78.5 which is above average by 7 years.
Notably low countries
China, Mexico, and Malaysia all score below 40 out of 100 for lifestyle, with all three countries working on average 46 hours a week. Considering working hours are much longer in these countries you would expect employees to receive more time off, however, this is not the case with China only receiving 5 days of annual leave, Mexico 6, and Malaysia 8.
Meg Riley, editor at Sleep Junkie, comments:
“Europe has shone through as the best continent for lifestyle overall with the top 10 countries being European. Although the United States has an overall low score, we are pleased to see that more than half of the population receives between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night. The UK has placed in the top 20 but scores particularly well for sleep (10 out of 10) as 30% of residents receive 8 hours of quality rest every night.
“Sleep is so important and can impact your lifestyle. By getting a good night’s sleep you could see improvements in your physical health, cognitive performance, and emotional well-being.”
Are you wishing for a better work-life balance or considering moving to another country? Take a look at the index here to find out which place can offer you the best lifestyle.