Researchers have found that while levels of subjective wellbeing initially rise as free time increases, the trend does not necessarily hold for very high levels of leisure.
“The sweet spot is a moderate amount of free time,” said Dr. Marissa Sharif, a co-author of the study from the University of Pennsylvania. “We found that having too much time was associated with lower subjective wellbeing due to a lacking sense of productivity and purpose.”
After crowdsourcing opinions on which activities would be equated with leisure time and then calculating this time for participants, the team found that while subjective wellbeing rose with the amount of free time up to about two hours, it began to drop once it exceeded five hours.
Nonetheless, they said the work suggested people who feel they have too little free time should not quit all of their obligations, but instead try to find a couple of leisure hours a day. Meanwhile those with empty days should try spending their time with purpose, be it connecting with others or doing something productive.
If you’d like to read the study from the Guardian, you can click here!