The advent of activity trackers has given us unprecedented insight into our activity and health. A number of wearable manufacturers, such as Fitbit and Jawbone, have tapped into aggregated data from their user base to bring us interesting insights into our habits.
Now Pebble has joined their ranks. This June, the company launched an experimental Happiness App. Nearly 10,000 users have installed the software which allows them to record their mood and energy levels throughout the day.
The California based manufacturer has aggregated this data in their latest blog post to give us detailed insight into what makes us happy, energized and productive.
According to the research, happiness seems to be very correlated with location and the social aspect.
For most people, happiness increased gradually throughout the day, with spikes at lunchtime and in the evening at 7pm. This is the hour when people are most likely to be spending time at home with loved ones or socialising with friends. It also confirms an earlier study that assessed happiness in 20 countries around the world, and found that 7pm was an overwhelmingly happy time.
In terms of individual activites, Pebble found that alcohol was the strongest predictor of high happiness scores. However this may be short-lived happiness. Other healthier options which impact our happiness included yoga, exercise, socializing, and meditation.
The social aspect is clearly significant, but no less important is who we choose to spend our time with – friends, family or work colleagues. People are definitely in a much better mood outside of work settings. Other research reports also suggest that happy people are generally more social and extroverted than less happy individuals.
Closely linked to happiness are our energy and alertness levels. Most adults experience a high point of biological alertness in the late morning that declines into the afternoon, perhaps a result of the post-meal slump after lunch. There is an energy bump around 7pm, perhaps to do with anticipation and excitement of post-work activities and spending time with friends and family. People were most energized after yoga and exercise, followed by socializing, alcohol, caffeine, and meditation.
Pebble concludes, “One can then use this information to optimize when/where/how to feel one’s best, and also understand more deeply why they might be feeling certain ways in different situations. Thus, happiness is… whatever is most important to you! Data can help you arm yourself with the tools to be the happiest, most energized, and successful version of yourself.”
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