Recreation is an activity of leisure, leisure being discretionary time. The “need to do something for recreation” is an essential element of human biology and psychology. Recreational activities are often done for enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure and are considered to be “fun”.
This an essential part of human life and finds many different forms which are shaped naturally by individual interests but also by the surrounding social construction. Recreational activities can be communal or solitary, active or passive, outdoors or indoors, healthy or harmful, and useful for society or detrimental. A significant section of recreational activities are designated as hobbies which are activities done for pleasure on a regular basis. A list of typical activities could be almost endless including most human activities, a few examples being reading, playing or listening to music, watching movies or TV, gardening, hunting, sports, studies, and travel. Some recreational activities – such as gambling, recreational drug use, or delinquent activities – may violate societal norms and laws.
Public space such as parks and beaches are essential venues for many recreational activities. Tourism has recognized that many visitors are specifically attracted by recreational offerings. In support of recreational activities government has taken an important role in their creation, maintenance, and organization, and whole industries have developed merchandise or services. Recreation-related business is an important factor in the economy; it has been estimated that the outdoor recreation sector alone contributes $730 billion annually to the U.S. economy and generates 6.5 million jobs.
Recreation has many health benefits, and, accordingly, Therapeutic Recreation has been developed to take advantage of this effect. The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) is the nationally recognized credentialing organization for the profession of Therapeutic Recreation. Professionals in the field of Therapeutic Recreation who are certified by the NCTRC are called “Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists”. The job title “Recreation Therapist” is identified in the U.S. Dept of Labor’s Occupation Outlook. Such therapy is applied in rehabilitation, psychiatric facilities for youth and adults, and in the care of the elderly, the disabled, or people with chronic diseases. Recreational physical activity is important to reduce obesity, and the risk of osteoporosis and of cancer, most significantly in men that of colon and prostate, and in women that of the breast; however, not all malignancies are reduced as outdoor recreation has been linked to a higher risk of melanoma. Extreme adventure recreation naturally carries its own hazards.
Humans spend their time in activities of daily living, work, sleep, social duties, and leisure, the latter time being free from prior commitments to physiologic or social needs, a prerequisite of recreation. Leisure has increased with increased longevity and, for many, with decreased hours spent for physical and economic survival, yet others argue that time pressure has increased for modern people, as they are committed to too many tasks. Other factors that account for an increased role of recreation are affluence, population trends, and increased commercialization of recreational offerings. While one perception is that leisure is just “spare time”, time not consumed by the necessities of living, another holds that leisure is a force that allows individuals to consider and reflect on the values and realities that are missed in the activities of daily life, thus being an essential element of personal development and civilization. This direction of thought has even been extended to the view that leisure is the purpose of work, and a reward in itself, and “leisure life” reflects the values and character of a nation. Leisure is considered a human right under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
1.Recreation occurs during leisure.
2.Recreation is as different as people are different; it is extremely wide and varied.
3.Recreation is activity; it is some sort of action as distinguished from rest.
4.Recreation must be voluntary; it cannot be ordered, imposed, or forced.
5.Recreation has no single form; it offers a variety of choices with endless possibilities.
6.Recreation is flexible; it can be organized or unorganized; it can be enjoyed in a group or alone.
7.Recreation to one individual may be work to another.
8.Recreation involves an individual’s attitude, motive, and incentive.
9.Recreation may occur or not occur; a specific activity may be recreation for an individual at one time, but not at another time.
10.Recreation is necessary in order for an individual to have balanced growth.
Recreation and work are not the same thing; although an individual may be very happy in his job , it is not possible for that individual’s work to be his recreation.