Do you open your calendar and see that it is a blank echo? For many, it may be a dream to be on an extended vacation, but it doesn’t have to be as good for health as we think.
The new study, conducted at the Wharton School in Pennsylvania, got more than 35,000 answers and showed that free time is important for people to feel fulfilled — but it’s important not to get too much or too little, Huffpost writes.
A little free time isn’t good, but a lot of free time isn’t always better, Marisa Sheriff, the study’s lead author, tells the paper.
People with up to two hours of free time per day generally felt better than those with less, but what the researchers could find surprising is that people with five or more hours of free time per day generally felt worse.
According to the study, the balance in how much free time we should be happier seems to be between two to three hours per day.
What you do in your spare time is important
The new study isn’t the first to wonder if more free time will make you happier. Harvard University experts I have also seen It is not healthy for adults who do not have a job to have a lot of free time, because then it can feel as if you lack routine and structure, among other things. Instead, find a balance between how much you have free time and what you do with your time.
In addition to the large study from The Wharton School of Pennsylvania, the researchers also conducted several small studies online. These small studies questioned how people would spend their free time if they had 3.5 to 7 hours a day and whether they would do both productive things (like exercising) and unproductive things (like watching TV).
The results showed that most people think that their health will be negatively affected if they have a lot of free time but spend it in an unproductive way.
In other words, it is important how we use our free time. Having entire vacation days that we can fill with free time doesn’t necessarily mean we become happier, Marisa Sheriff tells Huffpost.
What makes you feel productive?
It’s up to you.
According to the study, two hours of watching TV can give you as much joy as two hours of reading. As long as it’s what you do, it makes you happy. The goal is to take care of yourself.
Productive activities, such as taking an easy walk or doing a stretching session, can make you feel less stressed. But fun activities like knitting, reading, cooking, or playing video games can also put people in a kind of flow that stimulates your mental health.
In conclusion, Marisa Sheriff believes that it is good to fill your free time with something new, if you have a lot of time left.
When people get a lot of free time, for example if you retire or lose your job, our results show that it’s important to find an activity or job that gives you a purpose, she says.
“Extreme tv maven. Beer fanatic. Friendly bacon fan. Communicator. Wannabe travel expert.”