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Leisure education is more than learning about specific activities. It teaches an approach to thinking about leisure, and provides benefits that transcend knowledge about leisure activities and skills. It provides individuals with a process in order to make the most of their opportunities to experience leisure--no matter what their circumstances.

One study found that patients who participated in a leisure education program increased both their participation in leisure activities and their sense of freedom, while patients in an activity-only program actually had a decline in both participation and perceived freedom. Positive leisure and leisure education offers an abundance of benefits for individuals and for the communities in which they live and work:

Coping with Transitions and Improving Resilience through a greater sense of control, empowerment and independence; a feeling of well-being and balance; better ability to adapt to change and opportunities to build friendships and relationships. Clients learn long-term skills that they can apply in the future through any transition.

Experiencing a more fulfilling life. Quality leisure provides greater physical and psychological well-being and a sense of purpose for its own sake, makes relationships happier, and clarifies values

Nurturing Creativity, the Flow State and a Sense of Freedom, by widening horizons, breaking down internal barriers, heightening the senses and helping people choose activities in which they become fully engaged.

Reducing Recidivism and Addiction Relapse in the context of correctional facilities and prisoners re-entering society, through re-inventing how individual prisoners think about leisure in a positive, pro-social way. Benefits include improved self-confidence, a new way of thinking about the use of time, a feeling of greater choice and opportunity and access to information and other resources on specific leisure activities.

Preventing Delinquency and Building Lifetime Leisure Skills by giving teens a framework for handling their leisure time: tools for evaluating personal time use, thinking about choice and control in leisure, developing critical social skills.

Improving Employee Satisfaction and Productivity, including reducing job stress, improving work-related skills, increasing tolerance and understanding and enhancing decision making

Improving Work / Life Balance, leading to a feeling of greater freedom, increased life satisfaction and greater happiness.

Building Healthy Communities, by reducing harmful choices, connecting people with people, helping people make decisions that are good for themselves and others, and advocating for social justice and environmental sustainability.

Want to do some reading on leisure education and its benefits?  We list useful resources here.