People are happier and feel better on the weekends, according to new research. Now that may be obvious to you. Indeed, this is the type of study that we call "one for the duh files." However, on closer examination, the study reveals some interesting observations about leisure time.
For example, everyone is happier on the weekend -- even people who love their jobs and no matter what type of profession one is in or how much one is paid. The study found that people love the freedom associated with weekends and even feel better physically. Perhaps the most surprising finding is that people say they feel more competent during the weekend than they do while at their day-to-day jobs.
Researchers based their findings on responses from 74 volunteers ages 18 to 62. Participants monitored their experiences three times daily for 21 consecutive days using simple forms or pagers.
The study reinforces what is known as the self-determination theory, which means that well-being is based on one's personal needs for autonomy, competence and social relationships. People can tap into those needs more readily on the weekend. Conversely, they may experience time pressures, work demands and unpleasant relationships while at work.
The research reaffirms how important leisure time is to well-being. But, the authors note, it also shows that work really can be a bummer. These results point to possibilities for improving wellness both through enhancing need satisfactions at work and providing more time for adults that is free from work, the authors wrote.
So, it's true. Down time is really up time. Enjoy your weekend!