Leisure is becoming a forgotten word and academics from The University of Queensland want to put it back into people's lives.
UQ School of Tourism Associate Professor Ian Patterson wants people to put leisure alongside family, work and sleep as important parts of their lives.
Associate Professor Patterson will make the point when he speaks at the 9th ANZALS Biennial Conference at the Hilton Hotel from February 2-4, 2010.
He said many universities around the world were reducing the content of leisure studies in favour of event, sport and hotel management.
But this sent out the wrong message, he said.
A lot of people don't know how to effectively use their leisure time,'' Associate Professor Patterson said.
We want people to be aware of the importance of leisure, look at the health benefits and integrate leisure into their lifestyles.
People get caught up in work commitments and they don't take the time for leisure.
When executives doing 80 to 100 hours a week are dropping dead in their 30s and 40s, it is an indication they need a better balance between work and leisure.
Leisure was important to help people recuperate from busy work lives, reducing stress and allowing them to rejuvenate, Associate Professor Patterson said.
It is more than just relaxing at home, watching the TV. People should participate in more activities and experiences.
Leisure experiences provide people with feelings of satisfaction and enjoyment that they cannot achieve through work.''
Leisure was also important for retirees and people with a disability who did not work, Associate Professor Patterson said.
It is more than just filling up time. It can replace work. They can become volunteers or join amateur groups such as theatre companies, play a sport such as tennis or take on a hobby such as woodwork.''