Health Alert: The happy map

(National-NBC) Jan. 6, 2005 - Making a woman happy remains a mystery to many men, but according to new research from the University of California at San Diego, sex is the high point of a happy woman's day.

Time spent with loved ones and friends also topped the chart, but being with children fell in the middle of the most and least favorite activities.

David Schkade, a UCSD professor of business says, "How much time they spend with their children is not necessarily an unalloyed good."

Using a new method called "day reconstruction," co-researcher Schkade mapped out what the 900 working women in the study ranked as the best and worst parts of the day, "There are two activities that are absolutely the pits. All these women were full-time employed. One is meeting alone with your boss is a bad thing and commuting alone."

Grocery shopping and house cleaning were also rated the lowest on the happy map.

But, Schkade said overall the study found women measure happiness more by the company kept than the money made, "Money does not buy happiness. Except up to a point. "

The women's happiness map is published in Thursday's Journal of Science.

The researchers say using the zero to six scale provides accurate results for what once was vague answers about happiness. And, now they hope the map technique will be used in other quality of life surveys.

posted 11:38am by Chris Rees