College students’ perceptions of healthy and unhealthy leisure: associations with leisure behaviour

Jennifer P. Agans, Steven Hanna, Elizabeth H. Weybright, Julie S. Son

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Despite social acceptance of some leisure activities as healthy or unhealthy, individual behaviour suggests the story is more complex as individuals engage in leisure in both healthy and unhealthy ways. To better understand how leisure behaviour is perceived, we assessed American college students’ perception of their own leisure activities’ healthiness, as well as their perception of healthy and unhealthy leisure activities in general. Three groups were observed: students who viewed all of their leisure as healthy, students who viewed their leisure as a mix of healthy and unhealthy activities, and students who viewed most of their leisure as unhealthy. Across groups, students participated in the same activities but categorised the healthiness of these activities differently. However, students shared an understanding of the types of leisure they considered to be generally healthy and unhealthy. Interventions should therefore promote healthy ways of engaging in leisure, rather than particular “healthy’ leisure activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-801
Number of pages15
JournalLeisure Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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