How do you choose your leisure?

Family bike riding

I’d like to ask everyone I know what they do for leisure.  Then I’d ask why?  And with who?  And how ?  And where?  And when?

I’m a naturally curious person and the choice of leisure is one subject I am particularly interested in.


For the months of October and November, I’m going to focus my blog posts on the choices in leisure:

Part 1 (today).  Definitions and theories of leisure

Part 2.  Facilitators and constraints to leisure participation (quite eye opening when you get into it)

Part 3. Ways to choose your leisure; and impacts of leisure participation

Part 4. People other than me talking about leisure in a different kind of blog post


I’ll start by sharing some definitions and theories so you can (re)familiarize yourself with what leisure is and how it has and is being studied today.

Leisure can be defined as time – free from obligations, work, and survival tasks; as activity – set of activities unrelated to work or life maintenance; and as a state of mind – perception of freedom, intrinsic motivation, perceived competence, and positive affect all influence the experience (Hurd & Anderson, 2011; Neulinger, 1974).  It has also been strongly linked to the concept of ‘flow’, which matches challenges and skills to a high level for the most advantageous leisure experience (Csikszentmahalyi, 1990).  Leisure is a part of social psychology (Mannel & Kleiber, 1997); the study of economics (Cameron, 2011); health and wellness studies (Leisure Information Network, 2013); and a variety of other disciplines.  Leisure is debatably not universal – as human rights differ throughout the world, so too do the freedoms associated with leisure.  However, Article 24 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay” (United Nations, 2013).  The World Leisure Organization (WLO) advocates for leisure through policy development and dissemination, legislation, and information about the benefits of leisure; the organization also fosters collaboration and partnerships, and enhances research and scholarship (World Leisure Organization, 2013).


Leisure is a fascinating lens through which to quality of life, well being, and sustainability of our people and our resources.  The above notes on definitions of leisure are only a brief glimpse into the interdisciplinary study of leisure.  My background is tourism and recreation, which is intricately entwined into leisure, and I am keen to focus my attention on those relationships.  Yet the further I explore, the more organizations and sectors I want to partner and learn from and with.  I love this industry!


Sociably and leisurely,