Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 605–615 | Cite as

Real-Time Associations Between Engaging in Leisure and Daily Health and Well-Being

Original Article

Abstract

Background

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.

Purpose

This study examined momentary relationships between leisure and health and well-being in daily life.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

Results suggest multiple mechanisms explaining leisure’s effectiveness, which can inform leisure-based interventions to improve health and well-being.

Keywords

Leisure Mood Stress Ecological momentary assessment Multilevel modeling 

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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychological SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaMercedUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biobehavioral HealthThe Pennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA

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