Social Indicators Research

, Volume 102, Issue 1, pp 81–91 | Cite as

Quality of Life and Leisure Activities: How do Leisure Activities Contribute to Subjective Well-Being?

  • Andreja Brajša-Žganec
  • Marina Merkaš
  • Iva ŠverkoEmail author


The quality of life is determined with objective factors and also with subjective perception of factors which influence human life. Leisure activities play a very important role in subjective well-being because they provide opportunities to meet life values and needs. Through participation in leisure activities people build social relationships, feel positive emotions, acquire additional skills and knowledge, and therefore improve their quality of life. In this report we will explore how leisure activities improve subjective well-being. We will try to distinguish among different types of leisure activities and find those which contribute more to the subjective well-being. Particularly, we will explore which leisure activities contribute to the subjective well-being of women and men of different age. Our study is based on data from a representative sample of Croatian citizens (N = 4,000), who estimated their subjective well-being and participation in various leisure activities. First, we will describe the subjective well-being of various groups of people who differ by gender and age. Afterward, we will identify important leisure activities which determine subjective well-being across age and gender groups. Overall, our results show that engagement in leisure activities contributes to subjective well being, while the pattern of important leisure activities somewhat varies across different age and gender groups.


Leisure activities Subjective well-being Quality of life Age Gender 



This research was conducted as a part of two research projects ‘Development of national indicators of quality of life’ and “Determinants of parenting, family relationships and children’s well-being” funded by the grant from the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia. The earlier version of this paper was presented at the 9th Conference of the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (Florence, Italy, 2009).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreja Brajša-Žganec
    • 1
  • Marina Merkaš
    • 1
  • Iva Šverko
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.The Ivo Pilar Institute of Social SciencesZagrebCroatia

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