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Hobbies and Your Health

According to Wikipedia, “A hobby is considered to be a regular activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one’s leisure time, not professionally and not for pay. Hobbies can include collecting items and objects, engaging in creative and artistic pursuits, playing sports, or pursuing other amusements.”

But there is an added benefit that comes with having hobbies besides enjoyment- good health! Numerous studies outline the benefits of having hobbies:

Hobbies improve physical health.

Hobbies do not have to be physically demanding to be beneficial. A study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) found that people who said they engaged in enjoyable leisure activities had lower blood pressure, total cortisol, waist circumference, and body mass index.

Hobbies reduce stress.

Research by psychologists Matthew Zawadzki, Joshua Smyth, and Heather Costigan revealed that study participants had more positive and less negative moods, more interest, less stress, and lower heart rate when engaging in leisure than when not. Their study also found that leisure-based invention, or starting a hobby, can improve health and well-being. As opposed to compared to before having a hobby.

Hobbies help one perform better at work.

In a study conducted on employees, Creative activity was associated with mastery, control, and relaxation, and job performance‐related outcomes. Creative activity was found to, directly and indirectly, affect performance‐related outcomes. The effects varied by the type of performance‐related outcome. The results indicate that companies may benefit from encouraging their employees to consider creative activities or having a hobby to recover from their work.

The benefits of having a hobby can have lasting effects days after participating in a hobby. While some people enjoy doing a hobby on their own, others like to join with others. Regardless of your preference, having a hobby is essential to your health. Here’s to hoping you find a hobby you enjoy this year!

Disclosure: The sources used to prepare this material is believed to be true, accurate, and reliable, but are not guaranteed.

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