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Monday, June 11, 2012

For Americans, Mondays Aren't All That Bad

Sure, Mondays may seem tough after a couple days of rest and relaxation over the weekend, but in actuality, Americans aren't any unhappier on that first day of the work week than they are on any of the others. Well, that is, of course, if you don't count Fridays. Nothing beats Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for Americans.

These findings, published this May in The Journal of Positive Psychology, are based on more than 340,000 interviews with Americans. The study's authors include Gallup Senior Scientist Arthur Stone and Gallup Chief Scientist for Workplace and Wellbeing Jim Harter.

The researchers set out to investigate just how much truth there is to the idea of "Blue Mondays," "Thank God it's Friday," and "weekend effects." What they found is that Americans' moods really do improve greatly on Fridays and then get slightly better on Saturdays and Sundays. However, even though Americans' moods worsen on Mondays compared with the elation of the weekend, their emotional state on Mondays is the same as it is on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

But, weekdays aren't equally bad for everyone. The study found that this weekday-to-weekend change in mood is less pronounced as Americans get older and if they are retired. The authors say the results "point to the importance of the social milieu consisting of a preponderance of less pleasant, work-related activities Monday through Friday, and more pleasant, social activities starting Friday (presumably evening) and continuing through Sunday." 

So, it appears, a "case of the Mondays" is really just a case of the work week.  

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