Unhappy Americans watch more TV, or TV-watching makes Americans unhappier—a new study isn't sure which. But the survey of nearly 40,000 people shows that those who watch 30% more television are less happy than those who pass their time in other ways. Sex, sports, and playing or reading with kids topped the happy list. Still, some TV-watchers defended their sedentary habit.
"The remote control, I sleep with it in my hand," said one who called herself happy. A good sitcom "can make you escape from the real world. You can laugh," said another. In all, 33% of those surveyed said they were happy. Another 55% described themselves as somewhat happy and 11% as not too happy. Whether those good numbers hold in this economy "is the $64 question," the study's main author said.