Personal and Professional Philosophy of Recreation and Leisure Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1333 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Recreation

Recreation & Leisure

Professional Philosophy on Recreation and Leisure

Recreation and leisure must play an important role in American society, even though it may be difficult for some Americans to come to terms with that concept. Driver writes that the guilt many Americans feel about recreation and leisure activities is a residual affect from the Puritan work ethic, which equates having fun with laziness, that has influenced American societies for centuries (Driver, No Date). However, she points out that many nations, Japan is an excellent example, have incorporated the importance of recreation and leisure into the national culture and identity (Driver).

In fact, recreation and leisure are important to every culture because they contribute many positive things to both the individual and to society at large. Specifically, recreation and leisure confers benefits upon:

The individual: Research shows that positive recreation and leisure activities can improve health, provide psychological benefits and even boost work performance.

The community: Recreation and leisure activities can help provide cultural identity and allow for social interaction within communities.

The environment: The need to provide recreation and leisure activities to a community often leads to public protection of lands for those activities, which directly benefits the environment (Driver).

Individual benefits

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The physical aspects of exercise as a recreation and leisure activity are virtually uncontested. A regular exercise routine can extend life by improving cardiovascular health, lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and strengthening the body's bones, muscles and joints (Driver). But the benefits of regular leisure and recreation activities can have a profound psychological impact as well.

Term Paper on Personal and Professional Philosophy of Recreation and Leisure Assignment

Research by Parry found that regular recreation and leisure activities provided a psychological boost to a group of women, allowing them to derive self-esteem and their sense of worth from something other than traditional female roles such as cooking and cleaning (Parry, 2005). Similarly, a study by Shannon tracked the recreation and leisure activities of eight breast cancer survivors and found that, after being diagnosed with the disease, they made recreation and leisure more of a priority and came to depend on the psychological benefits they derived from these activities (Shannon, 2005). Clearly, positive recreation and leisure activities can help people feel good about themselves, which can lead to more self-confidence and overall improved psychological stability.

Recreation and leisure activities also can help people become more effective at work. Busy managers, who perhaps make the least amount of time for recreation and leisure activities, may be among the groups who are in need of leisure most. As was mentioned, physical activities such as exercise can lower blood pressure and even increase energy levels, which would both be welcomed in a hectic work environment.

Research by Iwaski, et. al. demonstrated that male and female managers in stressful positions who choose to make leisure a priority find that it becomes an invaluable coping tool (Iwaski, et.al., 2005). While there do appear to be gender differences in the types of activities selected, both men and women expressed that their recreation and leisure activities were critical to their physical and professional survival (Iwaski, et.al., 2005). And although children have not yet entered the competitive corporate world, a similar study by Caldwell et.al. found that middle school students who regularly participated in positive recreation and leisure activities found that they became more efficient and better focused, more aware of their community, and perhaps less likely to participate in substance use and abuse (Caldwell, et.al., 2004).

Clearly, recreation and leisure activities provide tangible benefits to the individual. Research has shown that people who regularly participate in positive recreation and leisure activities may find that they become physically healthier, feel better about themselves and perhaps become more effective in their professional occupations.

Community building

The link between recreation and leisure activities and cultural identity are well established. Activities such as Native American art, quilting, and even fishing in some societies, are passed down from generation to generation as part of the cultural fabric. Even the sport of lacrosse was passed down from the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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