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Do More Leisure Time and Leisure Repertoire Make Us Happier? An Investigation of the Curvilinear Relationships


Although the importance of leisure in promoting happiness has been well-documented in the literature, scant attention has been paid if more leisure is always associated with increased happiness or may result in leisure satiation. Using the panel data from 2016 Survey on National Leisure Activity from the Republic of Korea, this study investigated curvilinear relationships between leisure quantity, leisure repertoire, leisure satisfaction, and happiness. Our results showed that both weekday and holiday leisure quantities had inverted U-shape relationships with leisure satisfaction. Weekday leisure quantity also had an inverted U-shape relationship with happiness. However, leisure repertoire did not show curvilinear relationships with leisure satisfaction and happiness. Leisure satisfaction had a U-shape curvilinear relationship with happiness, and it also mediated the curvilinear relationships between weekday leisure quantity and happiness as well as holiday leisure quantity and happiness. We provided interpretations of our findings based on the existing literature, overwork culture in Korea, and cultural capital. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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  1. A.

    Appreciating cultural/art events

    1. 1.

      Attending exhibitions (arts, photographs, architectures, designs, etc.)

    2. 2.

      Going to museums

    3. 3.

      Attending concerts (classical music, opera, etc.)

    4. 4.

      Attending traditional performing arts (traditional music, traditional play, etc.)

    5. 5.

      Watching plays.

    6. 6.

      Watching dance performances.

    7. 7.

      Watching movies.

    8. 8.

      Watching entertainment performances (show, concert, magic show, etc.)

  2. B.

    Participating in cultural/art activities

    1. 9.

      Attending literary events.

    2. 10.

      Writing/literary discussions.

    3. 11.

      Art activities (drawing, calligraphy, engraving, designing, forming ceramics, drawing cartoons, etc.)

    4. 12.

      Playing instruments/singing class.

    5. 13.

      Learning traditional arts (Samul-nori, tightrope walking, etc.)

    6. 14.

      Taking a picture (includes digital camera).

    7. 15.

      Dance (ballet, Korean traditional dance, modern dance, etc.)

  3. C.

    Watching sport events

    1. 16.

      Watch sport at a stadium (soccer, baseball, basketball, volleyball, etc.)

    2. 17.

      Watching sport on TV (soccer, baseball, basketball, volleyball, etc.)

    3. 18.

      Watching martial arts.

    4. 19.

      Directly watching online game (includes e-sports).


  4. D.

    Playing sport

    1. 20.

      Playing basketball, volleyball, baseball, soccer, football.

    2. 21.

      Playing tennis, squash.

    3. 22.

      Playing billiards, pocket ball.

    4. 23.

      Playing bowling, ping-pong.

    5. 24.

      Playing golf.

    6. 25.


    7. 26.

      Wind surfing, water skiing, skin scuba, diving, rafting, riding a yacht.

    8. 27.

      Snowboarding, skiing, etc.

    9. 28.

      Ice skating, ice hockey, etc.

    10. 29.

      Working out (body building)/aerobics.

    11. 30.

      Yoga/Pilates/Tae Bo.

    12. 31.

      Badminton/jump roping/stretching/gymnastics/hula hoop.

    13. 32.

      Track and field/jogging/fast walking.

    14. 33.

      Martial arts (Taekwondo, judo, aikido, kendo, boxing, etc.)

    15. 34.

      Sport dance (Tango, waltz, jive, mambo, cha cha cha, etc.)

    16. 35.

      Cycling/mountain bike.

    17. 36.

      Inline skating.

    18. 37.

      Horse riding, rock climbing, triathlon, survival.

  5. E.


    1. 38.

      Visiting cultural heritage (old palace, temple, cultural heritage, etc.)

    2. 39.

      Looking at the nature view or scenery.

    3. 40.

      Woods bathing.

    4. 41.

      Domestic camping.

    5. 42.

      International camping.

    6. 43.


    7. 44.


    8. 45.

      Going on a cruise.

    9. 46.

      Going to theme park/amusement park/zoo/botanical garden.

    10. 47.

      Attending local festivals.

    11. 48.

      Taking a drive.

  6. F.

    Entertainment and hobbies

    1. 49.


    2. 50.

      Crafts (cross-stitch, beads craft, DIY, flower arrangement).

    3. 51.

      Cooking/enjoying tea.

    4. 52.

      Taking care of pets.

    5. 53.

      Going to karaoke.

    6. 54.

      Interior (home, car, etc.)

    7. 55.


    8. 56.


    9. 57.


    10. 58.

      Web searching/online chat/creating a video/social media.

    11. 59.

      Game (internet, Nintendo, PSP, PS3, etc.)

    12. 60.

      Board game/puzzle/Rubik’s cube.

    13. 61.

      Go/Janggi (Korean Chess)/Chess.

    14. 62.

      Gambling (horse racing, keirin, casino, playing cards, go stop, Mahjong game, etc.)/buying lottery ticket.

    15. 63.

      Shopping/eating out.

    16. 64.


    17. 65.

      Reading books/reading cartoons.

    18. 66.

      Beauty (skin care, hair care, nail arts, massage, plastic surgery, etc.)

    19. 67.

      Studying language/skills/certificate- going to academy.

  7. G.

    Resting activities

    1. 68.

      Taking a walk.

    2. 69.

      Taking a bath/sauna/steam room.

    3. 70.

      Taking a nap.

    4. 71.

      Watching TV (including IPTV).

    5. 72.

      Watching a video (DVD).

    6. 73.

      Listening to a radio.

    7. 74.

      Listening to the music.

    8. 75.

      Reading a newspaper/magazine.

    9. 76.

      Doing nothing.

  8. H.

    Social and other activities

    1. 77.

      Community service activities.

    2. 78.

      Religious activities.

    3. 79.

      Clubbing/night club/disco/cabaret.

    4. 80.

      Visiting family and friends.

    5. 81.


    6. 82.

      Group meeting/class reunion.

    7. 83.

      Dating/meeting/blind date.

    8. 84.

      Meeting friends/club meeting.

    9. 85.

      Other activities that are not listed above.

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Lee, K.J., Cho, S., Kim, E.K. et al. Do More Leisure Time and Leisure Repertoire Make Us Happier? An Investigation of the Curvilinear Relationships. J Happiness Stud 21, 1727–1747 (2020).

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  • Leisure quantity
  • Leisure repertoire
  • Leisure satisfaction
  • Happiness
  • Leisure satiation