Researchers from the United States have shown that an excess of free time negatively affects a person’s sense of well-being. The scientists ‘ article was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
To begin with, scientists from the Universities of California and Pennsylvania studied the data of two surveys of more than 35 thousand Americans. In one of them, participants provided detailed information about what they had been doing during the previous 24 hours and how it affected them. It turned out that the state of health improved with an increase in free time, but when it reached the two-hour mark, it stopped doing this, and after five, it began to decrease. An analysis of another survey revealed the same harm to the sense of well-being.
Then the researchers conducted two online experiments involving more than six thousand people. In the first, participants were asked to imagine that they would have only a set amount of free time for six months each day. They were randomly assigned a time – from 15 minutes to seven hours — and asked to describe their feelings. People with the minimum and maximum time felt worse. In the second experiment, the participants were assigned an average – 3.5 hours – or the maximum (seven hours) of free time. Still, at the same time, they were asked to spend it for productive (training or hobbies) or unproductive (watching TV) classes. When performing the latter, even with more free time, the state of health worsened.