Misery of illness worse than misery of work

Washington: Brits are more miserable than when they are at work is when they are ill in bed, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Sussex and the London School of Economics (LSE) analysed more than a million responses uploaded to a smartphone app, called Mappiness, that sporadically asks users questions such as how they are feeling, where they are and what they are doing.

Mappiness users receive a ‘ding’ on their smartphone at random times of the day, prompting them to complete a short survey, during which they rank their wellbeing using a sliding scale.

The researchers found that British people experience a 7-8 per cent drop in happiness while at work, compared to doing activities outside of work.

University of Sussex economist George MacKerron, who created the app, says the immediacy of the technology offers great advantages.

He added that although, we may be positive about our jobs when reflecting on the meaning and purpose they give us and the money they provide, actually engaging in paid work comes at a significant psychological cost. “It appears that work is highly negatively associated with momentary wellbeing: work really is disutility, as economists have traditionally assumed. At any given moment, we would rather be doing almost anything else.”

The most pleasurable experience reported by app users is lovemaking or intimacy, followed by leisure activities, such as going to the theatre, visiting a museum or playing sport.

The data also debunks the myth that Brits love to queue – waiting or queueing is the fifth most unpopular activity.

The study appears in The Economic Journal. (ANI)