Sumary of Yearning for free time? Too much of it could take a toll on your mental well-being:
- A new study finds that people may be just as unhappy with “too much” free time as they are with too little.
- Apparently, the sweet spot for extra free time is about three and a half hours per day.
- As the amount extends beyond that, however, the benefits to well-being decline and, at around seven hours, the extra free time starts making people feel bad, according to the study, published Thursday in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
- “If there is too little, people are less well off than if there is a moderate amount, because they feel a lot of stress because there is not enough time to do the things they want to do.
- ”March 23, 202102:48Of course, simply having a lot of free time isn’t necessarily harmful, especially if people are happy with the amount of time they have and enjoy how it’s spent.
- First, the researchers analyzed data from 21,736 Americans who participated in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey between 2012 and 2013. Those participants provided a detailed account of what they did during the previous 24 hours and reported on their sense of well-being.
- The analysis showed that initially, as free time increased, so did people’s sense of well-being.
- Participants in both the low and high free time groups said they’d imagine feeling worse off, mentally, than those in the moderate free time group.