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Medical Is leisure time and recreation a fundamental human need?

  1. Apr 11, 2012 #1
    Hey!

    Do we really need recreation or leisure time to function as humans? Could one get away with it and just work all of his life to whatever purpose he/she is set to go for? How does one distinguish between work and leisure time? Was there such a distinction in early humans? Or did one such distinction develop with the evolution of societies?

    I'm full of questions I know! But I couldn't find any reliable resource over the internet. Most were on the lines "Recreation is something you need to refresh your soul!"
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2012 #2
    We all need periods of rest, both physically and mentally. In old times we had Sabbath days, feast days, and holy days when everyone shut down for a rest. We also had occupations that permitted us to take a few minutes out for personal contemplation during the day. In modern times we have the weekend and the vacation. But the way many people spend their rest time is anything but restful. I take time out of every day for rest and contemplation. I don't take vacations, but I will take a day or two off once in a while to sit on a beach or to watch a campfire in the woods. I used to pack as much activity into my off time as possible, but I'm now much healthier now that I've learned to work hard, but also to rest.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  4. Apr 11, 2012 #3

    Ryan_m_b

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    Staff: Mentor

    Leisure time and socialising is important for maintaining good mental and emotional health. On a purely physical level stress has been linked to many health problems and if your work is strenuous then you will obviously wear yourself out.

    Wrt to evolution many animal species relax, have fun and play. It seems to be especially important in social animals.
     
  5. Apr 11, 2012 #4

    Pythagorean

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    Gold Member

    In Alaska, we are often trained on the seven steps of survival:

    Recognition
    Inventory
    Shelter
    Signals
    Water
    Food
    Play

    The seventh step is not to be taken lightly, though they are in order of importance
     
  6. Apr 12, 2012 #5
    That's an interesting program. Do you have a link? Don't get me wrong, I live thousands of miles away from the dangerous Alaskan wilderness in a completely different climat, but I'd like to see what they train people for.
     
  7. Apr 12, 2012 #6
    Have there been any studies of people having been deprived of their leisure time and the effects (long term and short term) this has on them and their health? (besides the obvious implications of lack of physical activity)
     
  8. Apr 12, 2012 #7

    Pythagorean

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    Gold Member

    When I was in Boy Scouts, the US Coast Guard gave us an 8-hr course on wilderness survival; it was long ago, never had a link; but did a little research: AMSEA sanctions Marine Safety Training with a course involving the 7-steps:

    http://www.amsea.org/training/msit.html

    But they don't explicitly tell you the steps, they just tell you that it's part of the training program. Found this independent website, though.

    http://www.astoverwater.com/page/page/3145298.htm [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  9. Apr 12, 2012 #8

    Ryan_m_b

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    Staff: Mentor

    Go to something like google scholar and just type in variants of leisure and health, there are plenty of articles (not all on the subject though).
     
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