SEOUL, Jul. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — On July 27, Heyday Magazine and the Center for Happiness Studies at Seoul National University released the results of a survey regarding the happiness of Koreans between the ages of 30 and 60 in everyday life.
A total of 480 men and women living in Seoul completed the survey conducted by Research & Research, a company specializing in marketing and socio-political research. The survey aimed to measure the degree of happiness associated with different types of relationships.
Overall, survey results showed that respondents were happiest when spending time with neighbors and acquaintances, with a score of 8.30. Other relevant relationships and the happiness generated from them were: spouse (8.20), friends or lovers (8.16), children or grandchildren (7.99) and work colleagues and other work-related acquaintances (7.62).
When dividing the responses down gender lines, the order of “happy” relationships changed. Men gave higher marks to time spent with their children or grandchildren (8.42) and their spouse (8.36), while women voted for time spent with neighbors and acquaintances (8.39) and friends or lovers (8.20).
The average score women gave time spent with their children or grandchildren (7.85) was considerably lower in contrast to men’s responses.
The disparity in the reported happiness of women compared to men for time spent with family members may be explained as “happiness levels for women are lower because they may perceive time spent with children and grandchildren as an increase in workload due to the pressures they face in child-rearing”, according to the Center for Happiness Studies.
Some other responses were:
• Time spent with one’s spouse was ranked “happiest” among respondents in their 30s and 40s, but ranked fourth among respondents in their 50s and rose to third among respondents in their 60s. The comparatively low rank in happiness for those in their 50s may be attributed to relationship troubles stemming from economic hardships caused by retirement. Another proffered explanation is that unspoken resentment lingering under the surface is more likely to surface as time spent together increases exponentially.
• Those who traveled together for two weeks reported slightly higher levels of happiness (+0.7) than those who did not.
• Days where the respondents had exercised were reported as happier (7.8) than those without (7.2).