Work and Leisure

Work and leisure are defined as an “opportunity for pleasurable experiences that are intrinsically satisfying and provide a sense of accomplishment” (Myers et al. 2000, p. 256). Work is a primary life task and offers a context in which human beings locate their adult lives (Astin, 1984). Work includes activities of individuals that are meaningful to the individual and/or others and are defined as sustaining the individual and others (Mayer et al., 2015). It provides economic, psychological and social benefits to the individual and social well-being of humans. In the context of Witmer and Sweeney’s theoretical frame, work includes activities such as homemaking, volunteer work and childrearing, as well as paid work (Witmer & Sweeney, 1992). Work is related to its purposefulness, such as economic and psychological support, as well as social benefits (Witmer & Sweeney, 1992). The inability to fulfil this life task might be health-threatening (Sweeney & Witmer, 1991) and individuals who are unable to “work” might struggle psychologically and economically (Witmer & Sweeney, 1992).

This life-task of work includes the life task of leisure, which is related to leisuretime activities, such as physical activities, creative work or social engagements, which all have a positive effect on emotional well-being and wellness (Witmer & Sweeney, 1992; Myers & Sweeney, 2008). Leisure time is important with regard to well-being and self-esteem (Myers et al., 2000). Leisure time reduces stress and contributes to well-being (Myers et al., 2000). It helps one to respond to life’s challenges (Sweeney, 2009).

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