It’s official – workers are at their happiest at 3:25pm, a study has revealed.
Researchers looking into the peaks and troughs of the working population’s mood found the average day will see eight happy moments – but five low points.
Employees are likely to experience highs when waking after a brilliant night’s sleep, receiving appreciation from the boss, and getting a complement from a client or customer.
But ‘daily downers’ include having to attend a particularly long and arduous work meeting, over-eating and then regretting it afterwards, and getting stuck in traffic on the way home.
The stats emerged in a study by British Cherries, as experts also claim the food we eat has a direct effect on happiness levels during the day – with people more likely to hit a slump if they snack on sugary or fatty treats.
High sugar treats like chocolate and sweets have been identified as the foods most likely to contribute to a bad mood, but the anthocyanin in cherries, or the folic acid in spinach can help to combat unhappiness.
Registered Nutritionist, Anita Bean said: “We all have times when we feel down in the dumps, but lifestyle factors such as eating a healthy diet containing lots of fruit and vegetables, being active, getting outside in the fresh air as much as possible and spending time with loved ones can really help to lift our moods.
“Interestingly, cherries help your brain produce the mood-enhancing hormone serotonin and are also a rich food source of the hormone melatonin which promotes healthy sleep patterns.
“Half of those surveyed said they feel happier after a good night’s sleep and so cherries are a great food to eat to make sure we wake up feeling rested and happy.”
Researchers who polled 2,000 workers found they are at their happiest when walking through the door after work, kicking off their shoes and removing their attire. Getting a hug from a child, and sitting down in front of the TV for the evening are also identified among the positive peaks experienced during the day.
But realising there is no feasible way you can get through your mounting workload, having a client complain about something and sleeping through the alarm are the points at which the bad mood starts to creep in.
The study also found the food consumed during the day can have a direct effect on overall happiness levels. Seven in 10 workers are generally in a better mood if they opt for healthier foods, and 35 per cent have noticed a correlation between eating particularly sugary or fatty foods and their glumness.
More than half of those polled say if they overindulge in too much food, or in unhealthy food, they will feel down in the dumps a few hours later.
In contrast, a quarter firmly believe they are happier half an hour after eating fruit such as cherries or berries, than they are after eating a chocolate bar. But despite knowing unhealthy foods can be the cause of further bad moods, four in 10 adults will still reach for crisps or chocolate when they’re feeling hungry.