Leisure sample essay sample essay
Almost everyone has some kind of leisure time whether it is a couple hours or a couple days. What varies is the type of recreational activities people choose to do during that time. Although leisure and recreation is chosen based on ones unique individual interests, there are many sociocultural factors that influence the type of recreational activities we do, when we do it and how often we do it. These factors include political, religious, social, biological and many others. The sociocultural factor that is most dominant in influencing my leisure and recreation is the environmental factor.
Environmental factors that influence my leisure include the locality or area that I live in, the weather/climate, and also the family culture I was raised in. These factors facilitate the leisure activities I am able to do and constrain certain activities as well. The economic factor also has some influence on my leisure and recreation. I find interest in many recreational activities but these factors have great influence on the activities I can do. When constructing my seven day time map, there were a lot of general patterns that I noticed in terms of when I do my daily activities.
First of all, working out in the gym was one of my most regular recreational activities. I worked out at around the same time every afternoon, right after my morning university classes. On some occasions, after my work out, I played basketball and that was the only other physical activity I engaged in. Moreover, a lot of my leisure was used socializing at home with my family and watching movies with them. Other activities I did in my leisure was watch television, check my social media messages to keep in touch with friends, and watch games and highlights of the sports I follow.
These are all indoor leisure activities which I have easy access too. In my time map some activities were ambivalent as to whether they were considered leisure or not. For example there are countless periods throughout the week where I engage in prayer. I do not deem this activity leisure because it is considered a religious duty or responsibility. Although my time map has periods of leisure, overall there is not much time for leisure and recreation as majority of my time is sacrificed for school.
To sum up, my time map shows that many of my recreational activities are molded in distinct ways instead of being placed at random, which shows that there are many factors that influence my leisure. An environmental factor that has a big influence in constraining my leisure is Toronto’s cold climate. Before I came to Canada, majority of my recreation consisted of playing outdoor sports such as cricket and soccer. I no longer play those sports as the weather is too cold and unsuitable for those outdoor activities.
One thing to note is that in Canada, encouragement for children to play sports is lacking and there has been a trend showing fewer and fewer children participating in sport since the 1990s (http://publications. gc. ca/collections/Collection/CH24-1-2000-1E. pdf? ). It could be possible that growing up in that kind of environment as a child influenced the lack of importance I give to sport during my leisure time. Many immigrants who come to Canada have to adapt and change their way of life, including what they do in their recreation (Khandor, 2011).
Most newcomers slowly start assimilating to the sports that are popular in Toronto (Khandor, 2011). In Parissa Safai’s lecture on newcomers, she stated that the more younger the immigrant is when they arrive to Canada, the more easily they assimilate to Canada’s sport culture. When I came to Canada I slowly started playing basketball more and more every year because that was the best way for me to make friends and fit in to the new environment. Furthermore, during the winter months, basketball was the only sport I had access too because there were indoor courts available.
These environmental factors inclined me to choose basketball as my main recreation in terms of competitive sport and now it is one of my favorite sports. It was hard for me to engage in my previous recreational activities because nobody enjoyed playing soccer or cricket. This constrained my choices in terms of what kind of recreational activities I wanted to do. Another factor that separated me from playing sports such as soccer and cricket were economic factors. During the winter season, the only way I could play these sports was if I joined the indoor leagues but these leagues were quite expensive.
Coming from a middle class family, these extra expenses were hard to manage and sustain. Soon it became too much and so I had to quit and find other recreational activities to do in my leisure. Due to these various sociocultural factors, my involvement in certain sports was severely hampered while other sports such as basketball were immensely facilitated. Another environmental factor that really controls when I do my leisure is the area or locality where I live. I do not live in a prestigious area and thus there are many things lacking such as recreation centers and gyms.
Your built environment influences how physically active you are because you are more likely engage in healthy recreational activities if they are close and easily accessible to you (Handy, Susan et al, 2002). As Professor Humana discussed in his lecture, your environment and community plays a big role in what kind of recreational activities you do and how frequently you do them. The closest gym to me is on my university campus, almost one hour away and the membership is also cheap. As a result, I tend to always do my weightlifting workout right after my morning university classes as shown on my time map.
I know that if I commute home right after class instead of going to the campus gym, it becomes a lot more difficult to achieve that recreation later on. Waiting in the cold and taking the bus for one hour just to workout is a lot more unappealing and thus would drive me away from engaging in this recreational activity. Because I am already on campus, I realize naturally that it is my only chance to go to the gym and workout as there is no recreational facility around where I live. This space and environment factor encourages and facilitates me to take part in this recreational activity at that specific time.
In addition, I have a close friend who also goes to the gym at around the same time and we always workout together. Whenever I go to the gym with him, workouts are done more efficiently and competently because we always motivate one another and push each other to the limit. Being in an environment where the workout is intense and done thoroughly gives me added incentive to go to the gym at that specific time. On top of that, I enjoy being in an environment where I am doing recreation with a friend as opposed to doing it by myself.
These environmental factors, especially the locality/area factor, manipulate when I choose to do this type of leisure and facilitate how frequent I am in doing it. A good amount of my leisure time comprises of spending time with my family at home, whether it is watching a movie with them or just socializing. This recreational activity has a lot to do with the family environment I was raised in. Asian cultures tend to put a big emphasis on family obligation and having positive family relationships (Fuligni, Tseng, and Lam, 1999).
In these cultures, a person’s value in society is measured by how strong their family bond, including their distant relatives (Fuligni, Tseng, and Lam, 1999). In my family culture, spending time with your family is important as it shows good etiquette and respect. Whenever my parents have leisure time they always spend it doing something with the family as opposed to going out with their friends or doing something on their own. My father has always had a tradition of bringing home movies for the whole family to watch together on the weekend. This gave me a family-first mentality so whenever I get leisure time, they are my first priority.
As a child I have always seen this positive family atmosphere so it is natural for me to spend my leisure time with them. All in all, choosing to spend my leisure with my family is greatly facilitated by the environment I grew up in. One aspect of my recreation that is severely prevented because of environmental factors is the opportunities I get to socialize and go out with my friends. All my friends live out of walking distance from me so it takes quite a bit of travel to reach their places. The cold, winter environment makes it even more difficult for me to meet up with them and vice versa.
Other environmental factors such as buses taking so long to arrive also make it hard to socialize or go out with anybody. Furthermore, there is a lot of construction around the area where I live and thus it is a long walk before I can get to any kind of transportation. In developing neighborhoods and areas the built environment are poorly constructed and thus there is minimal transport or transport is hard to access (Handy, Susan et al, 2002). The freezing winter weather, along with all these other factors really constrains my ability to socialize with my friends and go out.
The only times I am able to socialize with my friends are if we meet up right after our university classes. In addition, sometimes economical factors also constrain my ability to socialize with my friends. Often times when my friends want to go out, the leisure activity requires a lot of money. Some examples include going to the movies, fancy restaurants, buffets, skiing and many more. I do not have a job and my parents do not think it is necessary to be spending so much money on leisure and recreational activities.
As a result of all these many factors, I am restrained from going out with my friends and thus they are rarely part of my leisure activities. A big part of my leisure and recreation includes going on the internet. This includes all the social media sites such as twitter, facebook, skype and many others. Furthermore, it includes the various sports web sites I go on to see the highlights and get updated with the latest scores. Surfing the internet is a type of recreation that almost every student is familiar with. The amount of students that spend time on the internet has gone up at an exponential rate over the past five years (Aguiar, 2006).
I believe there are many factors that lead me and many others to use our leisure time surfing the internet. Firstly, we live in an environment where the internet is accessible almost anywhere you go. You can access it through your cell phone, laptop or computer. Also, I do not live close to any of my friends and it is difficult to meet up with them in such cold weather conditions. In a way, this gives me incentive to go on these various social media sites so I can keep in touch with my friends and stay updated. In fact, statistical analysis shows that social media is by far the most popular sites that students visit on the internet (http://nces. ed. gov/pubs2006/2006065. pdf).
I also use the internet to stay updated with my favorite sports. During the school year there is not enough leisure time to sit down for hours and watch sports games. With the internet available almost all the time, you can find out the score and watch quick highlights so you can still have some leisure in a work filled day. On the whole, with the cold winter environment keeping me indoors majority of the time, there is a lot more incentive for me to use an indoor activity such as the internet, during my leisure time.
The cold weather climate also has influence on the remaining leisure activities I part take in. These activities include watching television, listening to music or just relaxing on my bed. What all these activities have in common are that they are indoor activities and easy to access. Of all the environmental factors, the climate had the greatest affect on my leisure. Although leisure and recreation may seem to be things that are done with a lot of freedom and agency, that is not the case. There are many hidden factors and circumstances that dictate what type of recreational activities you take part in and when your leisure time occurs.
Because I was born outside of Canada, in a hot and humid country, I feel that environmental factors had the biggest and most glaring affect on my leisure and recreation. The patterns and frequencies of my leisure activities made me reflect on what factors facilitated some of my recreation. My inability to take part in some of the leisure activities I liked, showed me the factors that constrict some of my recreation. In conclusion, I learned that although we choose the type of leisure and recreation we participate in and enjoy, that too is influence by certain factors. References Aguiar, M.(2006).
Measuring trends in leisure: The allocation of time over five decades. Cambridge, Massachusetts: National Bureau of Economic Research. http://www. nber. org. ezproxy. library. yorku. ca/papers/w12082 Culture Statistics Program. 1998. Sport Participation in Canada. Statistics Canada. http://publications. gc. ca/collections/Collection/CH24-1-2000-1E. pdf? Fuligni, A. J. , Tseng, V. and Lam, M. (1999), Attitudes toward Family Obligations among American Adolescents with Asian, Latin American, and European Backgrounds. Child Development, 70(4), 1030–1044. doi: 10. 1111/1467-8624. 00075.
Handy, S. L. , Boarnet, M. G. , Ewing, R. , & Killingsworth, R. E. (2002). How the built environment affects physical activity. American journal of preventive medicine, 23(2), 64-73. Khandor, E. (2011). The global city: Newcomer health in toronto. [Ebrary version]. Toronto Ontario: Toronto Public Health : Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services. http://celarc. ca. ezproxy. library. yorku. ca/cppc/232/232994. pdf MARCIVE-York University. 9/21/2006. Computer and internet use by students in 2003: statistical analysis report. http://nces. ed. gov/pubs2006/2006065. pdf.
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