We Brits are obsessed with the weather. It is usually the first point of reference in smalltalk between strangers, and many of us are beholden to the forecast when making plans for days out. It comes as no surprise though, since these isles are at the whim of an array of different air masses, that can affect the weather day-to-day, and we are at the end of the jet stream which carries warm air to our shores from across the Atlantic and mixes with the colder air of the temperate latitudes. Our islands end up being hit by a barrage of low and high pressure systems, alternating over the course of a few days, each bringing with it a unique arrangement of meteorological circumstances that we simply call 'British Weather'.
However, many of us do suspect that the weather affects our moods too. Do you wake up on a Monday morning, open the curtains and have your heart sink at the sight of a torrential downpour, knowing that in the next hour you will be forced to endure that weather on your commute to work? Wouldn't your mood suddenly lift if you saw it was a gloriously sunny morning? Well, according to research to be presented at the Royal Economic Society's conference this month, the answer is 'not really!'
That's right. The study shatters the myth that periods of gloomy weather and rain has an effect on our moods, making us unhappier and less friendly.
According to the University of Westminster's principal research fellow in economic and quantitative methods, Franz Buscha, who undertook a study compiling UK Met Office Data alongside wellbeing data from the British HOusehold Panel Survey, found that there was no evidence linking periods of sunshine to an upswing in the population's happiness.
Indeed, there was a 'statistically significant' negative relationship of 0.52% between a person's job satisfaction and sunny weather, suggesting that the reverse is true, and that periods of sunny weather make individuals resentful of their jobs. Perhaps being stuck indoors is the issue!
The study does also make a distinction between daily weather changes and seasonal patterns. So the evidence for Seasonal Affective Disorder is still substantial.
Still, for us at Brolliesgalore we do like the idea that people are not affected negatively by those rainy days. We do love a bit of rainy weather, as we get to try out our fabulous brollies, but it's lovely to know that everyone else isn't put off by those raindrops too!
To find out more, check out this article in the Guardian for further details of the study