Recreation

Recreation

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Recreation is an activity of leisure
Leisure
Leisure, or free time, is time spent away from business, work, and domestic chores. It is also the periods of time before or after necessary activities such as eating, sleeping and, where it is compulsory, education....

, 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
Amusement
Amusement is the state of experiencing humorous and entertaining events or situations, and is associated with enjoyment, happiness, laughter and pleasure...

, or pleasure
Pleasure
Pleasure describes the broad class of mental states that humans and other animals experience as positive, enjoyable, or worth seeking. It includes more specific mental states such as happiness, entertainment, enjoyment, ecstasy, and euphoria...

 and are considered to be "fun
Fun
Fun is the enjoyment of pleasure and, according to Johan Huizinga, "an absolutely primary category of life, familiar to everybody at a glance right down to the animal level." Fun may be encountered in many human activities during work, social functions, recreation and play, and even seemingly...

". The term recreation implies participation to be healthy refreshing mind and body.

Etymology


The term isaiah
appeared to have been used in English first in the late 14th century, first in the sense of "refreshment or curing of a sick person", and derived from Old French, in turn from Latin (re: "again", creare: "to create, bring forth, beget.

Leisure as a prerequisite


Humans spend their time in activities of daily living
Activities of daily living
Activities of Daily Living is a term used in healthcare to refer to daily self-care activities within an individual's place of residence, in outdoor environments, or both...

, work
Employment
Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as:- Employee :...

, sleep
Sleep
Sleep is a naturally recurring state characterized by reduced or absent consciousness, relatively suspended sensory activity, and inactivity of nearly all voluntary muscles. It is distinguished from quiet wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, and is more easily reversible than...

, 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
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

.

Play, recreation and work


Recreation is difficult to separate from the general concept of play
Play (activity)
Play is a term employed in ethology and psychology to describe to a range of voluntary, intrinsically motivated activities normally associated with pleasure and enjoyment...

, which is usually the term for children's recreational activity. Children may playfully imitate activities that reflect the realities of adult life. It has been proposed that play or recreational activities are outlets of or expression of excess energy, channeling it into socially acceptable activities that fulfill individual as well as societal needs, without need for compulsion, and providing satisfaction and pleasure for the participant. A traditional view holds that work is supported by recreation, recreation being useful to "recharge the battery" so that work performance is improved. Work, an activity generally performed out of economic necessity and useful for society and organized within the economic framework, however can also be pleasurable and may be self-imposed thus blurring the distinction to recreation. Many activities may be work for one person and recreation for another, or, at an individual level, over time recreational activity may become work, and vice-versa. Thus, for a musician, playing an instrument may be at one time a profession, and at another a recreation there is a lot more to do.

Recreational activities


Recreation is 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 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, hobbies, sports, studies, and travel. Not all recreational activities can be considered wise, healthy, or socially acceptable or useful—examples are gambling, drinking, or delinquent activities. Recreational drugs are being used to enhance the recreational experience, a wide-ranging and controversial subject as some drugs are accepted or tolerated by society within limits, others not and declared illegal.

Public space such as park
Park
A park is a protected area, in its natural or semi-natural state, or planted, and set aside for human recreation and enjoyment, or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. It may consist of rocks, soil, water, flora and fauna and grass areas. Many parks are legally protected by...

s and beach
Beach
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones...

es are essential venues for many recreational activities. Tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 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.

Organized recreation


Many recreational activities are organized, typically by public institutions, voluntary group-work agencies, private groups supported by membership fees, and commercial enterprises. Examples of each of these are the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

, the YMCA
YMCA
The Young Men's Christian Association is a worldwide organization of more than 45 million members from 125 national federations affiliated through the World Alliance of YMCAs...

, the Kiwanis
Kiwanis
Kiwanis International is an international, coeducational service club founded in 1915. It is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Current membership is 240,000 members in 7,700 clubs in 80 nations...

, and Disney World.

Health and recreation


Recreation has many health benefits, and, accordingly, recreational therapy
Recreational therapy
Recreational therapy, also referred to as recreation therapy and therapeutic recreation, is a treatment service that provides treatments and recreation activities to individuals with illnesses or disabling conditions to improve or maintain physical, mental and emotional well-being and help reduce...

 has been developed to take advantage of this effect. Such therapy is applied in rehabilitation
Rehabilitation (neuropsychology)
Rehabilitation of sensory and cognitive function typically involves methods for retraining neural pathways or training new neural pathways to regain or improve neurocognitive functioning that has been diminished by disease or traumatic injury....

, 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
Outdoor recreation
Outdoor recreation or outdoor activity is leisure pursuits engaged in outside, especially in natural or semi-natural settings out of town...

 has been linked to a higher risk of melanoma
Melanoma
Melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that produce the dark pigment, melanin, which is responsible for the color of skin. They predominantly occur in skin, but are also found in other parts of the body, including the bowel and the eye...

. Extreme adventure recreation
Adventure recreation
Adventure recreation refers to active and outdoor activities such as backpacking , rafting, climbing, and outdoor survival. A few universities give degrees in adventure recreation, which aim to teach graduates how to run a business in the field of adventure recreation...

 naturally carries its own hazards.

Recreation as a career


A recreation specialist would be expected to meet the recreational needs of a community or assigned interest group. Educational institutions offer courses that lead to a degree as a bachelor of arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in recreation management. People with such degrees often work in parks and recreation centers in towns, on community projects and activities. Networking with instructors, budgeting, and evaluation of continuing programs are common job duties.

In the United States, most states
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 have a professional organization for continuing education
Continuing education
Continuing education is an all-encompassing term within a broad spectrum of post-secondary learning activities and programs. The term is used mainly in the United States and Canada...

 and certification
Professional certification
Professional certification, trade certification, or professional designation, often called simply certification or qualification, is a designation earned by a person to assure qualification to perform a job or task...

 in recreation management. The National Recreation and Park Association
National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association provides information and services to communities in the United States attempting to make them conscious of the environment around them. It supports the construction of parks and recreational facilities around the United States...

 administers a certification program called the CPRP (Certified Park and Recreation Professional) that is considered a national standard for professional recreation specialist practices.

See also

  • Recreation room
    Recreation room
    A recreation room is a room used for a variety of purposes, such as parties, games and other everyday or casual use. The term is common in the United States and Canada, but is less common in the United Kingdom where the preferred term is games room...

  • Recreation area
    Recreation area
    A recreation area is a type of protected area designated in some jurisdictions. In the United States, National Recreation Areas are administered by several different agencies. They typically do not meet the strict guidelines to become national parks. In U.S...

  • National Recreation Area
    National Recreation Area
    National Recreation Area is a designation for a protected area in the United States, often centered on large reservoirs and emphasizing water-based recreation for a large number of people. The first National Recreation Area was the Boulder Dam Recreation Area...

  • Adventure recreation
    Adventure recreation
    Adventure recreation refers to active and outdoor activities such as backpacking , rafting, climbing, and outdoor survival. A few universities give degrees in adventure recreation, which aim to teach graduates how to run a business in the field of adventure recreation...

  • Outdoor recreation
    Outdoor recreation
    Outdoor recreation or outdoor activity is leisure pursuits engaged in outside, especially in natural or semi-natural settings out of town...

  • Nude recreation
    Nude recreation
    Nude recreation refers to recreational activities which some people engage in the nude. Such activities can take place in private spaces, such as in a person's own property or in a naturist context, but also in public areas. Activities in which people engage in the nude include hiking, running ,...

  • Entertainment
    Entertainment
    Entertainment consists of any activity which provides a diversion or permits people to amuse themselves in their leisure time. Entertainment is generally passive, such as watching opera or a movie. Active forms of amusement, such as sports, are more often considered to be recreation...

  • Work-life balance
    Work-life balance
    Work–life balance is a broad concept including proper prioritizing between "work" on the one hand and "life" on the other. Related, though broader, terms include "lifestyle balance" and "life balance".-History:The work-leisure dichotomy was invented in the mid 1800s...


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