Leisure and recreation

Desired outcomes

Everybody has access and sufficient time to participate in leisure and recreation activities to their satisfaction.


Leisure and recreation (“free time”) are both crucial components of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Leisure time is a time when people can do what they want to do, away from work and other commitments.

Recreation and leisure play an important role in social wellbeing by providing people with a sense of identity and personal autonomy. Involvement in leisure activities adds meaning to individual and community life, and contributes to people’s overall quality of life. Recreation can encourage personal growth and self-expression and provide increased learning opportunities, satisfying needs that may not be met in people’s non-leisure time.

For many people, participation in leisure and recreation improves their physical and mental health. Participation in leisure and recreation activities can also have social benefits by creating opportunities for socialisation and networking with others. It can also contribute to family bonding when families do things together in their leisure time.


Two headline indicators are used in this chapter. They are: satisfaction with leisure time, and participation in arts and cultural activities. Together, these indicators present a picture of how people feel about their leisure time and how they spend it.

The first indicator is satisfaction with leisure time or “free time”. This measures how people feel about both the quantity and quality of free time available to them.

The second indicator measures people’s involvement in arts and cultural activities, either through attendance at arts events or through active participation.

Domain summaryTop

Overall, the Leisure and Recreation domain indicators show a mixture of improvement and stability.

The proportion of people who report having the right amount of free time has stayed steady in terms of recent-change and medium-term-change.

However, recently more people are attending and actively participating in arts and cultural activities. For medium-term-change, attendance at arts and cultural activities has remained stable while active participation has increased substantially.