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  • Writer's pictureNayaDaya

Own Health Awakens Contentment and Fear Among Finns – Less Often Interest

”On World Health Day it pays off to ponder how to enforce citizens’ proactive, positive, and engaging relationship with their own lifestyle, health, and wellbeing”, says NayaDaya Inc.’s CEO Timo Järvinen.

”Finland Through the Eyes of Empathy” is a series of emotion studies. Today, we publish results from a section where the citizens were asked about their emotions toward their own health. The response options (20 different emotions covering the entire human emotion space) are based on a research method developed at the University of Geneva, Switzerland[1]. The quota sampling represents Finns 18 years or older. The study has been conducted in cooperation with empathy-analytics company NayaDaya, YouGov and Statista. S-group has also supported the empathy study series.

Slightly over half of the Finns experience positive emotions toward their own health whereas little over one third’s emotions are negative. More than one tenth express no emotions – an experience that can be interpreted as insignificance. The most common emotions are contentment (24 %), fear (16 %) and relief (7 %).

NayaDaya’s Empathy Evangelist Maria Kausto-Turner explains meanings behind the most common emotions and their different impacts on citizens’ behavior:

”Contentment indicates that health situation is ‘good enough’. It does not, however, motivate people to change their lifestyles or improve their health. Fear, on the other hand, is an indicator of health risks that are considered difficult to control. Fear may have a crippling effect, or it can make people to avoid harmful lifestyles. Relief represents avoidance of health concerns and problems and while it is generally not a very engaging emotion, it still makes people to embrace health promoting solutions”, describes Kausto-Turner.

Women (40 %) experience their own health more negative than men (30 %). Among low-income women fear is more common than contentment. High-income men experience over two times more often contentment than fear.

Based on the scientific behavior matrix, the emotions evoked by one’s own health among Finns predict most often paralysis and avoidance (32 %). Moreover, these emotions cause people to turn passive (30 %), engaged (22 %) or resistive (3 %). Behavioral paralysis and avoidance is more common among women (37 %) than among men (27 %).

NayaDaya’s CEO Timo Järvinen reports that only five percent of Finns primarily experience interest toward their own health. Järvinen highlights that typically interest is aroused in a context where it is possible to combine one’s own goals and take advantage of and have influence over positive opportunities.

”So why is interest toward own health so low even though people are able to make choices that impact their health? The most common emotions point at losing one’s health, avoiding illnesses, or maintaining good enough health. There is also a significant amount of indifference. On World Health Day it pays off to ponder how to enforce citizens’ proactive, positive, and engaging relationship with their own lifestyle, health, and wellbeing”, says Järvinen.

Empathy-analytics company NayaDaya’s proposal for a solution is empathy: ”I do not believe that the challenge is the amount of education. Could we find a new viewpoint to health from empathy – from a dialogue where we put ourselves in other groups’ shoes and understand, for example, the emotions linked to different lifestyles that have a crucial impact on citizens’ choices and health?” asks Järvinen. .

Facts about the study

  • Emotion data was collected through the YouGov online panel from November 25 -27, 2020

  • The quota sampling was implemented on the basis of age, gender, and geographic location to represent the Finnish population of 18 years or older

  • Other variables were, among many, family lifecycle, urbanization, income level, profession, education level, use of social media and political affiliation

  • For the overall results (N=1002) the margin of error is ±2,8 percentage

  • The data was analyzed with the NayaDaya® Empathy Analytics, based on scientific emotion theory[2], University of Geneva research[1] and algorithm[3] which predicts behavior and engagement levels

[1] Pre-existing scientific research independently conducted and published by the Geneva Emotion Research Group at the University of Geneva.

[2] Scherer, K.R., Fontaine, J.R.J, & Soriano, C. (2013). Components of Emotional Meaning. Oxford University Press.

[3] The Emotional Value Index (EVI) algorithm developed by NayaDaya Inc.

Further information

Timo Järvinen, CEO, NayaDaya Inc.,, tel. +358 40 505 7745

Maria Kausto-Turner, Empathy Evangelist, NayaDaya Oy,, tel. +358 40 353 5851

Timo Salomäki, Head of Global Growth, NayaDaya Inc.,, tel. +358 40 709 2399

NayaDaya Inc. is an empathy analytics company that reveals the way emotions and behavior interact with phenomena and brands. Through data, insight, empathy, and impact, we empower organizations, authorities, brands, and leaders to strive for a sustainable change. If you respect science, empathy, and data, we would love to discuss with you. News and further information:


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