WORKING on a car is a top stress buster, according to new research from online marketplace eBay.
Some 18 per cent of those who took part in the survey said they found doing car maintenance therapeutic and a source of relaxation.
More than 30 per cent said they spent up to two hours tinkering on their car, and 13 per cent said that it saved them up to £150 pounds.
The survey also found giving the car a polish (42 per cent), performing routine maintenance (41 per cent) and fixing and changing the headlights (19 per cent) are the most relaxing vehicle related tasks.
One in four (21 per cent) went a step further and admitted spending more time tinkering with their car or motorbike than on any other hobbies and tasks.
Echoing the classic 70s book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance the study found that tactile tasks with an end product are one of the most satisfying of all (49 per cent), with cleaning the car out (12 per cent) also on the list.
Psychologist Dr Lisa Dorn said of the findings: "It is interesting to see from this research, how many of the simplest, seemingly mundane tasks in life, are actually calming and therapeutic. From a psychological perspective, people get into a zone, or mental state, in which they don't need to think and are fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus and enjoyment. It's as if action and consciousness melt together as people concentrate on the task rather than their worries and concerns.
"When messing around under the bonnet of their car for example, a balance between the perceived challenges of the task and one's perceived skills takes place and increases the chances of getting into 'the zone'. These everyday tasks can also release endorphins which relate to "pleasure centres" in the brain, creating a general feeling of well-being. Regularly increasing your endorphin levels can also boost your mood and brain function and ward off anxiety and stress."
Laura Richards, eBay category lead for vehicle parts and accessories said:"I'm not surprised that people find relaxation and relieve stress by doing ordinary household chores and hobbies. Working on a project car or doing those little bits of DIY on your daily run-around, not only provide that sense of achievement people enjoy but also help reduce costs."