An insightful new study found that people who are extremely active are happier than those who sit and do nothing.
The finding may explain why people admit to being very busy in our current society.
“The general phenomenon I’m interested in is why people are so busy doing what they are doing in modern society, says Christopher Hsee, of the University of Chicago. He is the study’s co-author, with Adelle Yang also of the University of Chicago and Llangyan Wang of Shianghia Jiatong University.
The participants completed a survey, and waited 15 minutes before the next survey was ready. They had the option of dropping off the completed survey at a nearby location and wait out the time remaining or drop it off at a location farther away, while walking back and forth would keep them busy for the 15 minute intervals.
They were rewarded with candy when the surveys were turned in. The participants who chose to stay busy by walking to the more distant location were happier than those who chose not to and remained idle.
The research is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Dr. Hsee thinks it’s possible to utilize this principle-people like being busy, and they like being able to justify being busy to benefit society.
“People are running around, working hard, way beyond the basic level.”
According to Dr. Hsee, “If we can devise a mechanism for idle people to engage in activity that is at least not harmful, I think it is better than destructive business.”
Source: Association for Psychological Science