Poll: Seniors happy with less social time

Dec. 19, 2011 at 12:51 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- American seniors don't need as much social time with family and friends as younger people do to be happy, a U.S. survey indicates.

Overall, Americans' self-reported their mood improves with each hour of social time they spend in a day -- up to about 7 hours. This relationship is present among all age groups, but people age 65 and older are more likely than their younger counterparts to maintain a positive mood with fewer hours of social time, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index says.

The percentage of seniors reporting a lot of enjoyment and happiness without a lot of stress and worry increases more than 20 percentage points between those with no hours of social time the previous day and those with 3 hours.

Adults age 30 and younger, it takes more than 6 hours of social time to see as much of an increase in positive mood, the survey says.

Among Americans who report less than 1 hour spent socially the previous day, 30 percent say they experienced a lot of enjoyment and happiness without a lot of stress and worry that day, but that figure rises to a majority among those who report at least 6 hours of social time.

The telephone survey, conducted Jan. 2 to Nov. 28, involving 31,486 U.S. adults, has a margin of error of 1 percentage points, but subgroups have a maximum margin of error of 7.5 percentage points.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Pepsi to release 'Back to the Future Part II' inspired Pepsi Perfect
Nobel Prize in medicine awarded to parasitic disease scientists
Womb transplants begin in U.K. after Sweden's success
Gay Vatican priest comes out day before Pope Francis begins synod on family issues
Scientists find roadmap that may lead to 'exercise pill'