Labor Day Excuses

(Page 3 of 4)

4. … To Sit on the Couch and Watch Sports Say all you want about couch potatoes. Just to show you how inaccurate a stereotype can be, Sports Illustrated earlier this month quoted research that challenges our perception of spectator sports fans.

A study at Ball State University in Indiana concluded that sports fans had higher grade-point averages than non-sports fans, and similar work at the University of Kansas found that people who identified themselves as sports fans had lower rates of depression.

The Kansas study showed that 93 percent of the time, a partner's sports interests had a positive or neutral effect on their marriage. In that case, you ought to thank your spouse for vegetating in front of the TV. Maybe it's keeping you together.

5. … To Be Unemployed Just because you've lost your job, don't think you're not doing any good. Every time unemployment rises 1 percent, the death rate in America drops 0.5 percent, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

By that logic, it would seem that not working saves lives. Study author Christopher Ruhn believes that unemployed folks have time to exercise, prepare healthful meals and take better care of their loved ones.

The benefit of unemployment has its limits. Physical health may improve during a job layoff, but mental health may worsen, Ruhn says.

But if mental health does worsen, is it because unemployed people spend too much time at home and are driven crazy by their families?

6. … To Obsess Over Celebrities Just because you're obsessed with Britney Spears, doesn't mean you're pathetic, at least according to John Maltby, a researcher at England's University of Leicester who studied the effect of celebrity watching on 3,000 people.