Published Wednesday, November 19, 2008
LOS ANGELES - Unhappy people watch more TV while those who consider themselves happy spend more time reading and socializing, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Maryland analyzed 34 years of data collected from more than 45,000 people and found that watching TV might make you feel good in the short term but is more likely to lead to overall unhappiness.
"The pattern for daily TV use is particularly dramatic, with 'not happy' people estimating over 30 per cent more TV hours per day than 'very happy' people, the researchers said in the study published in the journal Social Indicators Research.
"Television viewing is a pleasurable enough activity with no lasing benefit,and it pushes aside time spent in other activities -- ones that might be less immediately pleasurable, but that would provide long-term benefits in one's condition. In other words, TV does cause people to be less happy," they added.
People involved in the study recorded their daily activities in diaries over several decades. The researchers found that activities such as sex, reading and socializing correlated with the highest levels of overall happiness.
Watching TV was the only activity that had a direct correlation with unhappiness.
(c) The Edmonton Journal 2008