🧐 A study about hobbies and health
In 2009 a team of researchers in Pittsburgh did a cohort study of ~1400 people. They measured engagement in enjoyable leisure activities using a survey as well as self-perceived physical health, mental wellbeing, blood pressure, cortisol (stress hormone) levels, BMI and waist circumference.
📈 What they found
Participating more in hobbies was linked to lower blood pressure, cortisol, BMI and waist circumference. People who spent more time on hobbies also suffered less from low mood and depression and had a more positive perspective on both their physical and mental health.
💭 What you can do about it
It can be difficult finding and engaging hobbies if you've gotten out of touch with your leisure time. You could try something old - what did you enjoy growing up? You could try something new - is there something you always wanted to do? Try to tap into your child-like curiosity - think back to times of joy and what you were doing. Check out the video for some of my ideas over the last year!
♾ Break it down to habits
As with any lifestyle change, you need to think of it as a daily or weekly habit, e.g. 2 hours per week or 20 minutes per day of play time. Commit that time to yourself and your wellbeing.