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Why people feel miserable while at work


London: Do you feel miserable while going to work in the same fashion when you are ill? You are not alone. Most British people are at least happy while at work except when they are sick in bed, say researchers.

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.

Using a smartphone app called Mappiness, the team from at the University of Sussex and the London School of Economics (LSE) analysed more than a million responses.

The app sporadically asked users questions such as how they are feeling, where they are and what they are doing.

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

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

“Mappiness is interesting because it quizzes people in the moment, before they get a chance to reach for their rose-tinted glasses,” said economist George MacKerron from University of Sussex who created the app.

For example, it is common to hear people say that they enjoy their work, but the Mappiness data show that people are happier doing almost anything other than working.

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,” MacKerron noted in a paper appeared in the Economic Journal.

The data also debunks the myth that Britishers love to queue as waiting or queueing was the fifth most unpopular activity.

Many people have been using the app since 2010 helping to map happiness across Britain.

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