The Importance of Leisure in Modern Society

Leisure is described as time spent away from one’s daily schedule. People participate in things they enjoy during their leisure time as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others. Leisure has existed since the dawn of time. Wrestling, horseback riding, cockfighting, bullfighting, and a variety of other sports were available to the public. After finishing their day’s work, people often participate in these activities. The enjoyment they derived from their chosen pastime enabled them to unwind after a long day at work. As civilization was welcomed, new forms of entertainment emerged. As civilization was welcomed, new forms of entertainment emerged. Relaxation evolved to meet the changing needs of man, behaviors, and space (Moore et al., 2016). The industrialization era to date has significantly affected the types of leisure, which leads to the question: Given all our distractions, technology and our sense of global connectedness, is leisure still necessary in modern society? In an attempt to answer the question, this paper will take a twofold direction: showing how technology and leisure are intertwined and relevance of leisure in people’s daily lives and future.
Technology and Leisure
In the modern days, leisure cannot be separated from technology. For instance, in mobility, the latter has positively affected the former. The invention of advanced and faster transport systems has enabled people to travel faster and globally to spend their free time well. An example of leisure activities like sightseeing, hiking, mountaineering, or merely going to experience new places has been made possible by the quick and faster modes of transport, like trains, ships, aircrafts, and vehicles. People can now travel further in the world to have a variety of experiences in their preferred leisure activities (Alméras, Vallières, Tremblay, Poirier, & Després, 2016). For instance, mountain climbers have the chance to compare their encounters in climbing from the Alps, the Everest, and the Kilimanjaro. Diversity in leisure may spice up its type, hence leading to more relaxation and happiness to the person.
Additionally, the invention of automobiles resulted in new types of leisure activities. They include bike riding, car racing, skydiving from planes, skating, and skiing. Such events were not there before the automobiles were invented. It is now possible for people to ride bikes and motorbikes as a form of leisure, while others prefer racing in cars. They are made in such a way that they can withstand maximum speed and all types of roads. For skydiving, planes have come in handy to facilitate the activity. Skating, skiing, and even surfing on water bodies are also types of leisure made possible by the invention of automobiles, and they provide an excellent source of fun and relaxation to the people who love them (Munafò & Pearce, 2016).
Passive types of leisure have as well been made easy and more interesting by technology. Good examples are the intellectual games like chess and playing cards. Advanced technology has incorporated such games into their systems, for instance, mobile phone and computers. The advancement has made it easier for those who love such activities to play and enjoy. Other video games like the play stations have been invented allowing people to relax and enjoy in the comfort of their homes. They have the advantage of sharpening the wittiness of the participants and giving them satisfaction and happiness once they win one level and move to a more challenging level (Alméras et al., 2016). Computers’ and mobile phones’ games also have the advantage of improving the concentration span of the participants, hence helping them concentrate more on their routine work or school. On the other hand, these types of leisure have the disadvantage of making the participant antisocial.
Other common types of passive leisure include watching movies, watching plays (dramas), and listening to music. All these activities have been made possible and more available by the ever advancing technology. Initially, people would listen to other people singing as a form of leisure. In the modern world, music is accompanied by modern instruments that make it more appealing to the ears and soothing to the heart. It is then recorded and made available in radio stations, compact discs, and online streaming services. When it comes to the lovers of theatrical plays, theatres and stages have been modernized to replicate the modern world. The lighting system, backdrops, and soundtracks have been adopted to bring out emotions in a play, hence capturing the audience. As for the visual types of leisure like movies, computers have been fit in with DVD players that allow videos to play. Televisions also show movies and other programs that make people relax and laugh. Cinemas have experienced significant technological advancement that enables them to showcase 3D films which make the films more real and interesting to the viewers (Munafò & Pearce, 2016).
Leisure activities in sports have also been affected positively by the progressing technology. For example, in water sports, like deep sea diving and swimming, it has played a big part in making them more possible and enjoyable. For deep sea diving, the divers are now provided with gas masks, flippers, and torches to allow them to stay underwater for a long time and appreciate the aquatic life as a way of enjoying their leisure time. Waterproof cameras also enable to take photographs of the underwater life (Munafò & Pearce, 2016). For swimming, whereas the initial areas were rivers and ponds, technology has paved the way for the construction of swimming pools that allow people to have fun safely. Lighting and water heating systems have been incorporated in the pools to permit swimming at night and in cold seasons.
Terrestrial sports have also improved due to technology. For instance, in the American football, which is a rough game, the players have been provided with safety gadgets to prevent severe injuries during the game. The industries which make the different types of balls also play a part in making the right-textured balls for various games. When it comes to soccer, they have a specific kind of shoes to prevent sliding and to fall carelessly in the field. Rugby as a sport also has special uniforms to avoid injuries. Athletics also has a sports gear that allows flexibility and circulation of fresh air to the athletes. All games are mostly in the form of competitions; therefore, technology is used to record the performances and the scores (Moore et al., 2016). Evidently, technology is a big part of the modern leisure activities, and the two cannot be separated.
Relevance of Leisure in Daily Life and the Future
Human beings cannot live without leisure, even with the presence of all the distractions facilitated by advancing technology and globalization. Life without entertainment would be boring and too monotonous. Consequently, there would be no activities to rejuvenate their energy and morale, resulting in low productivity even in work. Leisure, therefore, has the role of ensuring that the society has physically fit mentally stable, relaxed, happy, and motivated individuals Yardly et al., 2002). Active leisure activities are highly advised by doctors, as they have better results in rejuvenating the individual, while at the same time, improving their health status. Unlike active, passive leisure activities might result into dull, unsociable, and physically lazy individuals.
One of the significant benefits of leisure is the growth of children. The metabolic activities in a child’s body happen at a high rate. They have to consequently release the energy produced by being active. Engaging children in active leisure activities like sports allow their limbs to exercise, hence growing stronger. Such events also give a chance to make friends, thus improving kids’ social skills. Some leisure activities give children life lessons, for instance, team work. Soccer and dancing, time management, critical thinking, as in the game of chess, and other survival skills acquired from swimming, hiking, and camping help in improving the health of children (Moore et al., 2016).
Secondly, leisure contributes to strengthening of family bonds, hence bringing up stable individuals to society in future. In the modern world, every member of the family is busy and away from each other. Both parents have to work, sometimes taking two or three jobs in a day to meet the ends. Children find themselves under the care of babysitters, and once they are of age, they join the school system, which takes up the better part of their lives. After school, the children, who are then young adults, find jobs and might start their own family who will take on the same route of life. Tentatively, there will be family members who do not know each other, resulting into a society without trust and confidence. Leisure time comes in to rescue such a situation by allowing family create free time to bond and appreciate each other (Yardly et al., 2002). Parents can encourage strengths of their children, who then learn from parents’ skills.
Thirdly, with the tight working schedule of the modern life, leisure is very necessary for relaxation and eliminating tension and stress from the workplace and at home. At home, parents sacrifice time to create bonding moments with their children and making follow-ups with the latter’s school work. They also have to cook and ensure everything runs smoothly in the family. At times, they have to finish up a job assignment before going to bed. The next morning, they have to prepare their children for school and then head to work, where they meet with the pressures of deadlines of achieving goals. Such a tight schedule works people up, leading to exhaustion, tension, and stress. In such circumstances, leisure comes in handy – people are able to do something different, hence finding a source of relaxation (Munafò & Pearce, 2016). Relaxation also leads to the elimination of tension and stress, which can, in turn, improve productivity in workplace, because the rejuvenated individuals return to work with new energy.
Fourthly, leisure time provides an opportunity to build up strong friendship ties and solidarity that may be important in helping each other in times of need. Human beings are social creatures, and there it is necessary to have people one can rely on in the low times. With the modern day stiff schedule, individuals tend to lack time to know their neighbors and friends. It is necessary in life to allocate a chance during free time in order to know and appreciate each other. As such, strengths and talents of friends and neighbors are showcased; hence, a strong relationship of friendship is upheld, resulting in confidence and security in home areas (Alméras et al., 2016).
The fifth importance of leisure is in the health of individuals. Active leisure activities like sports allow blood circulation in all parts of the body, thus reducing risks of heart illnesses. Moreover, passive leisure attributed to technology, like watching movies, computer games, and listening to music can be a risk to one’s health. If a person just eats and sits to watch, play, or listen, they are more prone to obesity compared to those who eat and actively burn calories in sports and dancing (Moore et al., 2016). With the proper circulation of blood to the brain due to active leisure, people end up being more mentally stable and with less fatigue. Such individuals also remain alert when they return to their normal routine; hence, they are more productive.
Some leisure activities have been used by psychologists to help people in anger management, for instance, sports like boxing and wrestling. Instead of breaking into a fight with someone, psychologists encourage people to join boxing clubs and wrestling to reduce their adrenaline. Such sports, however, have rules and regulations that the members ought to follow and acquire certain qualities (Moore et al., 2016). As a result, a youngster who kept on breaking into fights ends up as a responsible individual who can control his negative emotions and channel them into the right place.
Leisure will be quite essential in future, because the elderly require leisure time more than the younger generation. The former are prone to illnesses, especially of the heart and bones (Yardly et al., 2002). Therefore, with less vigorous but constant activities, they can maintain a healthy living even in old age. Illnesses like hypertension, obesity, or mental instability can easily take down the aged generation. Therefore, recreational activities have been put up to ensure that they exercise frequently in order to keep their hearts working, allow smooth circulation of blood and relaxation to remove depression. At such an age, people also tend to suffer from emotional stress silently. For instance, the loss of a loved one may affect them more than it would impact a younger person (Yardly et al., 2002). Therefore, leisure activities help the elderly to let go of their pain and move on peacefully.
Due to the busy routine of life, the elderly find themselves lonely, since their children are working, and their grandchildren are in school. They, therefore, sulk and suffer from self-rejection. They end up detaching from the world and have mental instability. However, the presence of recreational centers allows elderly persons being involved in such activities and find new friends who they can relate with in the daily lives. They can meet people who are going through the same situation and accept some things in life. They practice their social skills and become complete beings (Alméras et al., 2016). As a result, they end up avoiding depressions and loneliness, and they get to live longer, more gratified and happier.
Leisure evokes creativity in human beings and will help in job opportunities’ creation in future. Some people have seen the importance of leisure activities and have taken it as their responsibility to make them available. There are recreational centers with activities for individuals from all ages. For instance, bouncing castles, slides, and merry-go-rounds for children allow them to exercise their bodies while still having fun. Swimming pools are also available, whereby those without swimming pools at home can pay and have fun (Munafò & Pearce, 2016). Sports clubs and movements like scouts and girl guides have been included in the schools’ extra-curricular activities, which allow children to join and have fun while exercising.
Other leisure activities have been turned into professions, like photography, singing, dancing, reading, and artifact collection. The media industry requires talents to capture real and clear photographs of incidences. The music industry has also attracted many talented individuals who earn a bounty by doing what they love. Professional dancers are hired for a lot of money to perform. Libraries have been put up due to lovers of reading, while museums hold a great collection of artifacts brought by those who took time to collect them as their leisure activity (Yardly et al., 2002). In future, these activities are likely to lead to more revenue for people engaging in them.
All countries appreciate leisure time and activities by setting aside funds for the tourism industry. Tourists’ attractions have been preserved in all the states to allow those who love traveling, sightseeing, hiking, and mountaineering enjoy their leisure. Big sporting events like the Olympics have been enhanced by the global connectedness, such that all the nations are given a chance to participate and represent their country and talent. As suggested by Moore et al. (2016), such activities lead to the development of countries and increase global unity. As a result, people use their leisure time and activities to promote unity and reduce discrimination. The trend is likely to go on in the immediate and distant future.
Whereas there are many advantages associated with leisure time and activities, there are, however, some disadvantages that may arise and affect human being adversely. First, passive leisure like watching movies and playing computer games kills social skills of children, bringing up loners. Society full of loners is unsafe, as people are not open to each other. There would be neither confidence nor trust among them (Alméras et al., 2016). It can be recommended that sociable leisure activities be encouraged to bring up a whole individual to society.
Passive leisure can also lead to obesity, limbs illnesses, and heart diseases. When individuals just sit to watch, play, or listen, their bodies are not active, and they may develop complications in future. Children need to run around to strengthen their limbs and allow completing blood circulation to become stronger and more alert. People who just sit and watch end up being dull, and hence less productive even in their work or school. Active leisure is necessary to everyday life for a cheerful and more productive society (Munafò & Pearce, 2016).
Another disadvantage of leisure is secretly developing bad characters in individuals. Owing to the advancement of technology, work has been made easier; hence, there is more free time for people to engage in other activities some of which might be harmful. If not managed properly, it might be used to develop ill characters in the society. An example of one major problem is hacking. With computers, intelligent children are having a lot of time learning about the machines. Some of them end up being hackers, hence risking the privacy of members of the society. They are able to go through private information of individuals, firms, or even a country. Secondly, the excess free time allows young people to join gangs and end up being a threat to society (Moore et al., 2016). It is, therefore, recommended that despite the busy schedule of life, parents should keep an eye on the activities that their children are involved in.
In conclusion, it is evident that leisure is highly relevant in the modern world, because technology has made work easy, hence increasing free time. Leisure activities contribute to a wholesome person (Munafò & Pearce, 2016). With the modern world, it has become a venue to encourage sociable activities and discourage loneliness. Leisure has also been used by doctors to prevent illnesses like depression and stress. Additionally, even though recreation cannot be separated from technology, people should not abandon active leisure, as it has more advantages to the individuals and the society at large. Leisure activities have worked to build up national unity and strengthen global connectedness. The elderly, who are a significant part of the society use leisure time to avoid illnesses and depression. However, it is the duty of every individual in the community to use recreation time positively to build a confident society. If used wisely, leisure could make one earn, while still having fun and helping other people. The primary purpose of it is to develop a society with happy, relaxed, and productive individuals. Therefore, leisure is still quite relevant in the modern society despite the advancements in contemporary technology.
Alméras, N., Vallières, M., Tremblay, É., Poirier, P., & Després, J. (2016). Contributions of leisure-time vs. occupational physical activity to variation in cardiorespiratory fitness and cardiometabolic risk profile: Results from a workplace health management program. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 32(10), S241.
Moore, S. C., Lee, I. M., Weiderpass, E., Campbell, P. T., Sampson, J. N., Kitahara, C. M., …, & Adami, H. O. (2016). Association of leisure-time physical activity with risk of 26 types of cancer in 1.44 million adults. JAMA Internal Medicine, 176(6), 816-825.
Munafò, S., & Pearce, M. (2016). Living environments and leisure mobility: Challenging the compact city. Mobile Lives Forum. Retrieved on October 31, 2017
Yardly, L., & Smith, H. (2002). A prospective study of the relationship between feared consequences of falling and avoidance of activity in community – living older people. Gerontologist, 42(1), 17-23.

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