By Rob Knight

The average UK adult smiles 11 times every day – or more than 232,000 times over their lifetime, it has emerged.

Researchers who carried out a detailed study found summer sunshine is most likely to trigger a grin, followed by a compliment from a stranger and flicking back through old photographs.

Eight out of ten of us are confident enough to smile at strangers – with most of us happy to grin at someone we don’t know eight times a day, on average.

But it’s not all a bed of roses, two of our 11 smiles a day are FALSE, with a miserable one in ten Brits claiming they ‘don’t like smiling’.

It also emerged around half of us admit we don’t smile ‘as much as we could do’ and three quarters wish EVERYONE smiled more often.

The study was commissioned among 2,000 adults by Moshulu, who specialise in bright and colourful footwear and accessories.

Psychologist Dr. Jessamy Hibberd said: “It’s interesting to see that the majority of people think that they should smile at least seven times a day in order to feel happy and content.

“While smiling is something that we often do subconsciously, we should be considering it as an important part of our day.

“We’ve all heard about the ‘five a day’ rule for fruit and veg, but the ‘importance of seven a day’ when it comes to smiles is just as real – the benefits on positive mental health are immense.

“Smiling has a huge amount of real value – recognised by more than 90 per cent of us – and, when the number of times you smile every day is added up, it can have great benefits to overall happiness.”

Other things guaranteed to spark a grin include receiving a discount at the til (39 per cent), finding a fiver down the back of the sofa (38 per cent) and a stranger holding the door open (37 per cent).

Hearing a baby laugh or seeing them smile (37 per cent) and seeing an old couple holding hands (32 per cent) also made the list, along with finding a parking space in a car park (19 per cent).

Among the daily smile triggers was having the TV remote control to yourself (21 per cent) and getting through traffic lights just before they turn from amber to red (15 per cent).

The moment when someone with a full trolley of shopping lets you go in front of them at the till also ranked highly (32 per cent).

Reassuringly, our partner or spouse is most likely to make us smile, with children a close second.

The family dog made third place followed by our friends and co-workers.

The cat, our best friend and our parents also made the list.

And we’re not backwards in coming forwards when it comes to rating our own smiles – a confident 52 per cent said they felt they had a ‘nice smile’.

The age of 22 and a half emerged as the point when we smile the most.

And the key to a good smile, according to those polled, is a grin that shows genuine warmth and friendliness.

The OnePoll.com research also found we can recognise a genuine smile, with 89 per cent being able to spot one when they see one.

But while four in ten typically tend to smile with a closed mouth, a fifth opt for an open mouth and closed teeth grin, while 17 per cent go for a full open mouth, open teeth smile.

Smiling at others makes us feel happy (69 per cent) with 1 in ten feeling generous when giving out smiles.

As well as instilling happiness, receiving smiles gives us a range of positive feelings, including warmth (28 per cent), being liked (28 per cent), accepted (22 per cent) and reassured (14 per cent).

Using the research, Moshulu has released a ‘Smile Scale’ which has scored each type of smile depending on how happy it makes us feel.

Shaun Fulls, director at the popular high street brand, said: “We know how much something as simple as a really great pair of shoes can make a difference to someone’s day, so we conducted the research to find out what else makes people smile.

“We hope the findings, as well as the ‘Moshulu Smile Scale’, will encourage more people to actively do more to get others smiling.

“Whether that’s holding the door open for a stranger, giving a friend a compliment or writing a nice note to a loved one, these small things are what brighten the everyday.

“We’d like to see more people sharing a smile and so over the coming weeks, Moshulu will be using the research to implement a few surprises that we hope will make our customers smile.

“This could be anything from giving away a Moshulu treat in store to putting extra goodies in their online orders.”

For further information, please visit: www.moshulu.co.uk/the-smile-scale


1. Sunny weather – 50%
2. Getting a compliment from a stranger – 48%
3. Looking back at old photographs – 44%
4. Receiving a discount at the till – 39%
5. Finding a fiver down the back of the sofa – 38%
6. When someone holds a door open for you – 37%
7. Hearing a baby laugh/seeing them smile – 37%
8. Getting a nice message from a loved one – 35%
9. Receiving a hug – 35%
10. Seeing an old couple holding hands – 33%
11. When someone with a trolley full of shopping lets you go before them – 32%
12. Finding a fiver in an old pair of trousers – 32%
13. When your favourite song comes on the radio – 31%
14. Getting into a bed with freshly washed sheets – 29%
15. Ticking everything off your to-do list – 28%
16. Chocolate – 28%
17. Being surprised with flowers or chocolate – 28%
18. Seeing any type of baby animal – 25%
19. Finding a bargain in the sales – 25%
20. Receiving a thank you card in the post – 24%
21. When an internet purchase arrives in the post – 24%
22. Having the house to yourself – 23%
23. Fitting in to clothes you thought were too small – 22%
24. Watching your favourite film – 22%
25. Seeing dogs stick their head out of car window – 22%
26. Tax rebates – 22%
27. Singing along to music in the car – 21%
28. Your football team winning – 21%
29. Having the TV to yourself – 21%
30. Waking up at the weekend and realising you don’t have to go to work – 21%
31. Finding a parking space first time – 20%
32. Seeing your children win something – 19%
33. Ice cream – 19%
34. Having a hot bath after a long day – 19%
35. A good hair day – 19%
36. Home time after a day at work – 19%
37. Getting a nice comment on social media – 18%
38. Receiving a massage from your partner – 17%
39. Putting your slippers on after being on your feet all day – 16%
40. Being greeted by your dog – 16%

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