A survey carried out Down Under has found that to make a man happy, you just have to leave him to surf the Internet to his heart's content.

The "Happiness Index" study polled more than 8500 Australians aged between 18-64 years to find out, well, what makes them happy.

Unsurprisingly, people said that rest and relaxation were the most enjoyable activities while physical exercise was least likely to make people smile.

Both men and women - in what amounted to 63% of overall respondents said that relaxation was the activity that made them happiest.

But then the team behind the research found marked differences between the sexes.

For more than half of the men who were quizzed, what made them most happy was surfing the Internet, playing online games or accessing social network sites such as Facebook.

This was compared to only 39% of the female respondents.

For the fairer sex, it's about all spending time with friends and family, and even pets.

Family time only made 45% of the men happy.

The women who replied also said that reading a good book, eating comfort food or buying gifts made them happy.

But shopping for new clothes and shoes only made 30% of women happy.