Leisure Time Is Good for Your Mental Health, Productivity

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By Cara Murez
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Struggling to determine whether to walk different hr astatine the bureau oregon instrumentality a precocious day stroll?

Put connected your walking shoes.

Making leisure clip a precedence is bully for your mental health. For many, though, particularly folks who prize productivity supra all, it's a hard sell, a caller survey finds.

"There is plentifulness of probe which suggests that leisure has intelligence wellness benefits and that it tin marque america much productive and little stressed," said survey co-author Selin Malkoc. She is an subordinate prof of selling astatine Ohio State University, successful Columbus.

"But we find that if radical commencement to judge that leisure is wasteful, they whitethorn extremity up being much depressed and much stressed," Malkoc said successful a assemblage quality release.

For the study, researchers astatine Ohio State, Harvard and Rutgers did a bid of experiments to find retired what happens erstwhile radical spell done beingness viewing productivity arsenic the eventual goal, and having amusive arsenic a discarded of time.

In one, the investigators asked 199 assemblage students to complaint however overmuch they enjoyed respective leisure activities and past had them implicit assessments that measured their levels of happiness, depression, anxiety and stress. Students were besides asked however overmuch they agreed with 5 statements, specified arsenic "Time spent connected leisure activities is often wasted time."

The much they saw leisure arsenic a waste, the little they liked leisure activities — beryllium it thing progressive (exercising), passive (watching TV), solitary (meditating) oregon societal (hanging retired with friends). Those who saw leisure arsenic wasteful were little blessed and much depressed, anxious and stressed, the researchers found.

In different experiment, 302 volunteers were asked however they celebrated Halloween and however overmuch they enjoyed it. Again, those who saw leisure arsenic a discarded of clip reported little enjoyment of parties and different vacation activities they viewed arsenic conscionable for fun.

"But those who participated successful amusive activities that fulfilled responsibilities, similar instrumentality oregon treating with your kids, didn't spot specified a simplification successful however overmuch they enjoyed their Halloween," said survey co-author Gabriela Tonietto, an adjunct prof of selling astatine Rutgers Business School successful Newark, N.J.

And the antagonistic views of leisure affected enjoyment of thing amusive — careless of the concern oregon however abbreviated the leisure enactment was, the findings showed.

In a 3rd study, assemblage students were asked to ticker a short, comic feline video successful the mediate of different parts of an experiment. Even though they were astatine the laboratory to bash mostly "boring" survey work, and immoderate had work that leisure could assistance manage stress and boost energy, immoderate inactive didn't bask the videos, the researchers said.

The experiments amusement it's not casual to alteration people's beliefs astir the worth of leisure, the squad noted.

If you presumption leisure arsenic wasteful, deliberation astir the productive ways that idiosyncratic leisure activities tin service your semipermanent goals, Tonietto suggested. In different words, nexus each leisure enactment to thing you privation to accomplish.

Another survey co-author, Rebecca Reczek, is prof of selling astatine Ohio State. She said, "If leisure tin beryllium framed arsenic having immoderate benignant of productive goal, that helps radical who deliberation leisure is wasteful get immoderate of the aforesaid benefits."

And the antagonistic presumption of leisure isn't an exclusively U.S. phenomenon.

"We unrecorded successful a planetary nine and determination are radical everyplace that perceive the aforesaid messages astir however important it is to beryllium engaged and productive," Reczek said. "And erstwhile you judge that, and internalize the connection that leisure is simply a waste, our results suggest you're going to beryllium much depressed and little happy, nary substance wherever you live."

The study was published online Aug. 21 successful the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

More information

Harvard Medical School has much astir leisure-time exercise.

SOURCE: Ohio State University, quality release, Aug. 23, 2021

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