What leisure activities boost life satisfaction?

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How do you enjoy your leisure time? Does reading your favourite novel make you happy, or does running 5K give you that much-needed endorphin rush?

What you choose to do in your leisure time can have a big impact on your happiness levels, say researchers.

Using survey data from Understanding Society, the researchers based at the University of Glasgow conducted a study to ask whether people who participate in cultural leisure activities have higher life satisfaction than people who do not.

And, if different types of leisure have the same influence on life satisfaction and if satisfaction is dependent on the frequency of participation or the number of activities undertaken.

  • Results showed an independent and positive association of participation in sport, heritage and active-creative leisure activities and life satisfaction but not for participation in popular entertainment, theatre hobbies and museum/galleries.
  • The association of reading hobbies and sedentary-creative activities and life satisfaction was negative.
  • High life satisfaction was associated with engaging in a number of different activities rather than the frequency of participation in each of them.

The research, Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement led by Jennifer L. Brown, Ronald MacDonald & Richard Mitchell is now online.

To read more about the method and results, please click here

this news has been re-posted from the Understanding Society website