Live, Life, Well: New study on the benefits of leisure time

Those who don’t enjoy leisure activities are more depressed, anxious, and stressed.
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 6:39 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A new study is out looking at the way you view your leisure time. On this Live, Life, Well; some of you might go walking or go to a concert to relax. Others might prefer a day in the sun on the beach. Leisure offers a host of benefits for mental and physical health.

But, many people view leisure as wasteful and unproductive. The researchers say those who don’t enjoy leisure activities are more depressed, anxious, and stressed.

“I don’t think that we appreciate how important our leisure time is. I think a lot of times people think about leisure time as all exercise, I’ll run so far and that’s great. Sometimes we just need that relaxed time to be with people we care about. And that actually is a great contributor to health and longevity,” commented Dr. Jennifer Baker of Good Dads.

The researchers write, “There are several reasons why people may come to equate leisure with wastefulness. The belief that leisure is wasteful is likely a learned association stemming from instances in which the belief is objectively true – when devoting time to leisure comes at the expense of work or necessary tasks (e.g., chores). Because it is sometimes true, people might over-apply.”

The lead author says work can give you a sense of meaning. But, leisure time makes our lives happy and healthy. The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

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