Recreation & Leisure Professional Philosophy Term Paper

Total Length: 1333 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

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But, as Driver points out, recreation and leisure not only preserve cultural identities - they also allow for cultures to mix and share experiences. Baseball, for example, may be a distinctly American sport, but when a field is built or a league is formed, people who identify with a variety of different cultures and ethnicities are able to participate. The same holds true when a community holds a craft fair, a town pride day, or a festival. People from a variety of cultures are able to come together, learn from each other, and contribute to the overall strength of the community.

It seems natural to conclude that an important component of a strong community is the availability of recreation and leisure activities that are accessible and can bring together all of the cultures of the community.

Environmental benefits

As we have seen, recreation and leisure activities provide numerous benefits for individuals and for communities. However, recreation and leisure activities also directly benefit the environment by promoting conservation.

For example, the Wilderness Act of 1964 protected more than 90 million acres of American wilderness for public enjoyment (Driver). The fact that the public enjoys outdoor recreation and leisure activities motivates the American government to set aside lands for this type of use.

It is not difficult to imagine what would happen if the situation was reversed. After all, vacant land is a shrinking commodity in America. If the American public had no interest in outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, biking or fishing, it would be hard for the federal and state governments to prioritize protecting lands for recreation and leisure. Those same protected acres could, quite conceivably, be dotted with condominiums, townhouses and strip malls. Instead, those lands are justifiably protected in the public interest.

Conclusion

American society needs to change its definition of recreation and leisure from being activities that are "squeezed in" during moments of free time to being activities that are made a priority because of their numerous benefits.
Research has shown that positive recreation and leisure activities confer benefits on the individual, and society as a whole, that may not otherwise be present.

In any society, the health of the population must be a priority. It is well-known that recreation and leisure activities can help individuals lead physically and psychologically healthier lives, while also lowering stress that may interfere with job performance.

Recreation and leisure also allow for the preservation of cultural identity, while simultaneously encouraging cultures to share their unique experiences. In fact, this happens on the Little League fields, town parks and bingo halls of America every day.

Finally, recreation and leisure benefit the environment. The public has an interest in outdoor activities, which allows municipalities to set aside land for recreation and leisure - land that might otherwise be devoted to business development interests.

Recreation and leisure play an important role in American society and must be accordingly prioritized. The end result is healthier people, stronger communities and a protected environment.

Works Cited

Caldwell, Linda K.; Baldwin, Cheryl K.; and Walls, Theodore (2004). Preliminary Effects of a Leisure Education Program to Promote Healthy Use of Free Time among Middle School Adolescent. Journal or Leisure Research, Vol. 36, No. 3.

Driver, Bev (No date). The Benefits of Leisure. Retrieved Sept. 15, 2006 at http://www.academyofleisuresciences.org/alswp7.html.

Get the Facts about Lacrosse (2005). Retrieved Sept. 15, 2006 at http://www.lacrosse.org/the_sport/index.phtml.

Iwasaki, Yoshi; Mackay, Kelly; and Mactavish, Jennifer (2005). Gender-Based Analyses of Coping with Stress among Professional Managers: Leisure Coping and Non-Leisure Coping. Journal or Leisure Research, Vol. 37, No. 1.

Parry, Diana C. (2005). Women's Leisure as Resistance to Pronatalist Ideology. Journal or Leisure Research, Vol. 37, No. 2.

Shannon, Charlene S. (2005). "If the Dishes Don't Get Done Today, They'll Get Done Tomorrow": A Breast Cancer Experience as a Catalyst for Changes to Women's Leisure.….....

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