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Want to be happy? A 26-year study of Germans suggests it’s not that hard:

• Marry someone who’s not neurotic.

• Focus more on friends and family, less on material goods.

• Get involved in making the world a better place.

• Have a job but also enough time for leisure.

• Stay physically active.

• For men, don’t be underweight. For women, don’t be obese

These are, of course, wildly simplified suggestions. But the researchers, in Germany, Holland and Australia, developed them after studying a lot of data on a lot of people. They worked from the German Socio-Economic Panel Survey, which has been doing every-five-year interviews with Germans since 1984 and currently has over 60,000 people enrolled.

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