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The ebb and flow of brief leisure experiences
Leisure Sciences
  • R B Hull
  • Sean E. Michael, Utah State University
  • G J Walker
  • J W Roggenbuck
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Four leisure conditions were compared: (a) walking along a rural road, with frequent vista views of a Tuscan landscape; (b) walking in a completely built setting, within a city center; (c) sitting indoors with a panoramic window view of a rural setting; and (d) sitting in a small but comfortable room with no view. Assessed at the beginning, twice during, and at the conclusion of the leisure activity were eight dimensions of experience: anxiety, dullness, excitement, calmness, love, power of concentration, freedom, and self‐esteem. On balance, the ebbs and flows observed here suggest that on‐site leisure experiences are dynamic (i.e., change while on‐site), multiple dimensional, and complex (the dimensions’ ebbs and flows do not parallel one another). However, the findings are not clear as to whether it is the type of leisure (active or passive), the setting of leisure (rural or urban), or simply being at leisure that most determines the ebb and flow of a recreation experience. If anything, the results suggest that time at leisure should be considered more explicitly as a determining factor of recreation experiences as it seemed to influence the quality of experience at least as much as did the activity and setting. In general, participation in any of the four leisure conditions increased feelings of self‐esteem, lessened negative feelings of anxiety and dullness, and enhanced positive feelings of calmness and perceived freedom. These patterns of slight change were especially true when participants walked along the rural road.

Citation Information
1996 Hull, R.B., Michael, S.E., Walker, G.J., & Roggenbuck, J.W. The ebb and flow of brief leisure experiences. Leisure Sciences, 18, 299-314.