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Unhappy people watch more TV: survey
Updated: 2008-11-16 10:51

BEIJING -- US researchers found unhappy people spend time in front of the television 30 percent more than happy people, according to media reports Sunday.

The finding, made by researchers at University of Maryland, comes from a survey of nearly 30,000 American adults conducted from 1975 to 2006.

Researchers at University of Maryland have found that unhappy people spend more time watching TV than happy people. [file]

While unhappy people spent more time in front of the TV, happy people were more socially active, voted more, read more newspapers and attend more religious services. The study found 51 percent of unhappy people were more likely to have unwanted extra time.

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The lack of effort required probably accounts for why TV watching takes up more than half of Americans' free time, the study said.

But perhaps the pleasure brought by watching television doesn't last.

"These conflicting data suggest that TV may provide viewers with short-run pleasure, but at the expense of long-term malaise," said researcher John Robinson, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The study suggested that staring at the television could push out other activities such as exercise, parties and other forms of socialization known to have lasting psychological benefits.