Real-Time Associations Between Engaging in Leisure and Daily Health and Well-Being
- 1k Downloads
Engagement in leisure has a wide range of beneficial health effects. Yet, this evidence is derived from between-person methods that do not examine the momentary within-person processes theorized to explain leisure’s benefits.
This study examined momentary relationships between leisure and health and well-being in daily life.
A community sample (n = 115) completed ecological momentary assessments six times a day for three consecutive days. At each measurement, participants indicated if they were engaging in leisure and reported on their mood, interest/boredom, and stress levels. Next, participants collected a saliva sample for cortisol analyses. Heart rate was assessed throughout the study.
Multilevel models revealed that participants had more positive and less negative mood, more interest, less stress, and lower heart rate when engaging in leisure than when not.
Results suggest multiple mechanisms explaining leisure’s effectiveness, which can inform leisure-based interventions to improve health and well-being.
KeywordsLeisure Mood Stress Ecological momentary assessment Multilevel modeling
Conflict of Interest Statement
The authors, Matthew J. Zawadzki, Joshua M. Smyth, and Heather J. Costigan, have no conflict of interest to disclose.
Ethical Adherence Statement
The research was conducted in compliance with the American Medical Association and the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.
- 1.Iso-Ahola SE. Basic dimensions of definitions of leisure. J Leis Res. 1979; 11: 28-39.Google Scholar
- 2.Manfredo MJ, Driver BL, Tarrant MA. Measuring leisure motivation: A meta-analysis of the recreation experience preference scales. J Leis Res. 1996; 28: 188-213.Google Scholar
- 3.Dupuis SL, Smale BJ. An examination of relationship between psychological well-being and depression and leisure activity participation among older adults. Soc Leisure. 1995; 18: 67-92.Google Scholar
- 4.Lawton MP. Personality and affective correlates of leisure activity participation by older people. J Leis Res. 1994; 26: 138-157.Google Scholar
- 11.Batty GD, Shipley MJ, Kivimaki M, Marmot M, Smith GD. Walking pace, leisure time physical activity, and resting heart rate in relation to disease-specific mortality in London: 40 years follow-up of the original Whitehall study. An update of our work with professor Jerry N. Morris (1910–2009). Ann Epidemiol. 2010; 20: 661-669.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 16.Arai Y, Saul JP, Albrecht P, et al. Modulation of cardiac autonomic activity during and immediately after exercise. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 1989; 256: H132-H141.Google Scholar
- 23.Smyth JM, Heron KE. Health psychology. In: Mehl MR, Conner TS, eds. Handbook of research methods for studying daily life. New York: The Guilford Press; 2012: 569-584.Google Scholar
- 29.Weissinger E. Effects of boredom on self-reported health. Soc Leisure. 1995; 18: 21-32.Google Scholar
- 32.Caldwell LL, Smith EA. Health behaviors of leisure alienated youth. Soc Leisure. 1995; 18: 143-156.Google Scholar
- 48.Cohen S, Williamson G. Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States. In: Spacapam S, Oskamp S, eds. The social psychology of health: Claremont Symposium on applied social psychology. Newbury Park: Sage; 1988: 31-67.Google Scholar
- 49.Barreira TV, Kang M, Caputo JL, Farley RS, Renfrow MS. Validation of the Actiheart monitor for the measurement of physical activity. Int J Exerc Sci. 2009; 2: 60-71.Google Scholar
- 52.Benson H, Klipper MZ. The relaxation response. New York: Harper Collins; 1992.Google Scholar
- 54.Kleiber DA. Leisure experience and human development: A dialectical interpretation. New York: Basic Books. Inc; 1999.Google Scholar
- 55.Coleman D, Iso-Ahola SE. Leisure and health: The role of social support and self-determination. J Leis Res. 1993; 25: 111-128.Google Scholar
- 57.Caldwell LL, Smith EA, Weissinger E. Development of a leisure experience battery for adolescents: Parsimony, stability, and validity. J Leis Res. 1992; 24: 361-376.Google Scholar
- 61.Melamed S, Meir EI, Samson A. The benefits of personality-leisure congruence: Evidence and implications. J Leis Res. 1995; 27: 25-40.Google Scholar