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Benefits of Leisure

Leisure activities have a positive affect on physical and mental health. A person’s health, and how they feel about their health, affects the types of activities they do. If a person’s health changes, the things they do in their free time will likely change, too. People who spend their time doing active and cognitive activities will have better physical and mental health than those who take part only in passive leisure.
The link between leisure and health is complex. It is not clear whether people are more active because they have better health, or if they have better health because they are active. Health Canada suggests that older adults should spend at least thirty minutes a day on moderately intense activities to improve their physical fitness. Some ideas might be to walk to the store or work in the yard. In the Canada Fitness Survey, people who exercise at a light or average activity level have a lower risk of all causes of death. For example, in the Canada Health Survey, a moderate level of physical activity was associated with a lower risk of death from heart disease.

Staying active is important. It has been found that women who visit art museums or go to the theater, movies, or concerts at least once a month rated their health better than those who did not go to these events. The same thing was found for women who sing in choirs, paint, or play music. Taking part in physical and social activities will help you cope with illness, loneliness, disability and trauma. Widows and widowers benefit from increasing their leisure activities, because it improves their morale. Being involved in leisure activities has also been associated with a lower risk of dementia.

Leisure gives people a sense of worth, identity and status. It allows people to interact with others. Spending free time in a meaningful way leads to more happiness and better functioning. It has been found that being socially active can increase how long you live.

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