ROCHESTER, N.Y., Jan. 12 (UPI) -- People experience better moods, greater vitality, and fewer aches and pains from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, U.S. researchers found.
From construction laborers and secretaries to physicians and lawyers, the "weekend effect" is largely associated with the freedom to choose one's activities and the opportunity to spend time with loved ones.
Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, said the study tracked the moods of 74 adults, ages 18-62, who worked at least 30 hours per week.
"Workers, even those with interesting, high status jobs, really are happier on the weekend," Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, said in a statement.
"Our findings highlight just how important free time is to an individual's well-being. Far from frivolous, the relatively unfettered time on weekends provides critical opportunities for bonding with others, exploring interests and relaxing -- basic psychological needs that people should be careful not to crowd out with overwork."
Men and women consistently feel better mentally and physically on the weekend regardless of their income level, education level, how many hours they work, or whether they work in the trades, the service industry or in a professional capacity, the study found.
The findings are published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.