In 2007 Defra along with other Government Departments, devolved administrations and other stakeholders developed a common understanding of what wellbeing means in a policy context. This is now used across Government.
The common understanding across Government is that wellbeing is a positive physical, social and mental state, it is not just the absence of pain, discomfort and incapacity. It requires that basic needs are met, that individuals have a sense of purpose, that they feel able to achieve important personal goals and participate in society. It is enhanced by conditions that include supportive personal relationships, strong and inclusive communities, good health, financial and personal security, rewarding employment, and a healthy and attractive environment.
Along with the common understanding Defra released a provisional wellbeing indicator as part of their sustainable development indicators in your pocket 2007 (SDIYP). Last year DCMS contributed data on cultural and sporting participation by adults to the wellbeing indicator.