Leisure and Happiness: Strategies to Enhance Subjective Wellbeing

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Francis LOBO, School of Marketing Tourism and Leisure, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia
The World Report on Happiness in 2015 chose seven variables to list countries on a happiest to unhappiest scale. They were: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make choices, perception of corruption and everything else. Leisure, as an independent concept, does not feature, although aspects can be found in more than one variable. This paper isolates leisure and illustrates its relationship to happiness. It will do so by differentiating the concepts. Happiness is a feeling. Leisure is an activity. Both phenomena are analysed as short and long-term. The relationship of income to happiness is discussed and a colour-coded map is presented to show “most happy” and “least happy” countries. Specific examples of countries are illustrated to show the relationship of income to happiness over several years. The similarities of happiness and leisure are discussed along the dimensions of feeling and activity. The paper analyses theories of the hedonic treadmill, social comparison and set point notion to show that a close relationship exists between leisure and happiness.