Summary: Social interaction and relaxation were the biggest parts of the perfect happy day for a number of people surveyed in a study.
A research study conducted by Christian Kroll of Jacobs University in Germany and Sebastian Pokutta of Georgia Tech found that a group of people surveyed indicated in order to experience a maximum of happiness in a day it would be necessary to work and commute less. They surveyed people about the typical activities in their daily routines and asked them to indicate how much time they would envision spent on each one. (Unusual activities such as sky-diving were not included).
The results were fascinating in a number ways. The two activities the research subjects gave the most time were intimate relations and social interaction, which were assigned 106 and 82 minutes respectively. Interestingly, they are both social interaction, which means the research subjects prioritized interacting with others as most important for their maximally happy day.
The next three activities were alloted about the same amounts of time. Relaxing was given 78, while eating was pegged at 75 and praying or meditating was at 73. Relaxation is clearly associated with praying and meditation, so you could say the research subjects indicated that a little over 150 minutes or about 2.5 hours in a day were tied to being relaxed for their most happy day.
Exercise was next on the list with 68 minutes, and it too is associated with relaxation, because it is one of the best stress-reducers and anti-depressants.Talking on the phone scored eleven minutes less at 57, and this is obviously a form of social interaction so it could be lumped together with the first two - intimate relations and social interaction. The next activity, shopping, came in behind phone time at 56 minutes. Watching TV came right after that with 55 minutes.
Coming on the heels of TV watching were a number of home-related activities: preparing food 50, computer time 48, housework 47, napping 46, and child care 46. Napping could be grouped with relaxing and praying or meditating and exercise because they all tend be calming. If that were the case, a most happy day would include about 4 hours of activities related to calming or stress-reduction.
Work and commuting were assigned the least amount of time - 36 and 33 minutes. While this tiny portion of the day for work and commuting might seem odd, it seems the people in the study were demonstrating their ideal happy day was probably on a weekend, holiday or vacation. Their perfect happy day was filled mainly with social interaction and relaxation.