Walk or run? Television or cinema? Reading or playing video games? While time and means continue to influence choices, the importance of leisure activities is growing.
Leisure activities are an integral part of quality of life
Driven by the new generations, who aspire to combine a successful professional life with a fulfilling personal life, leisure time gained 37 minutes per day between 1986 and 2010. Unsurprisingly, the amount of time devoted to leisure varies greatly according to age and activity. The differences are also remarkable: retired people can spend twice as much time on leisure as working people, more than 15 hours a week! Today, leisure activities are part of the quality of life, and there is no longer any question about this.
Leisure activities that reflect the current times
In the UK, creative leisure activities are very popular: 3 out of 4 people say they do at least one creative activity as part of their leisure time. Photography, painting and manual crafts are becoming increasingly popular. The cinema is still the most popular cultural activity, but reading is still very present: books are mostly enjoyed at home, after work or before going to bed, and Daunts Books or the British Library are mostly frequented by tourists and students. Surfing the Internet is often the number one activity, even ahead of television. Video games have been increasing in popularity over the last three years, whether on a computer console or a telephone: gamers can enjoy UK casino no deposit bonus easily, management games, MMORPGs and so on, there is something for everyone. In families, the video game is an activity that is shared together and is supplanting the board game.
In London, leisure activities fit the city life
- Gardening or walking in nature are popular leisure activities, but city dwellers do not have the opportunity to practice them. Alternatives include walking in parks such as Hyde Park, Regent’s Park or Hampstead Heath. Outdoor activities are not easily available in the heart of London, so many city people take weekends out of the city to cycle in the countryside, go sand yachting or take a boat trip along the coast. On the other hand, the urban environment lends itself perfectly to rollerblading, urban sports and fitness.
- London has a huge number of museums and places of interest. They are not the most popular places for Londoners, who have visited them at least once, but they do go there when family or friends are visiting.
- In their spare time, especially after work, many Londoners go to the pub, a tea salon or a coffee shop, a ritual that marks a clear demarcation between the working day and time for themselves. It is also an opportunity to meet up with friends. City inhabitants are more inclined than people living in the countryside or on the outskirts of the city to eat out in the evening or to go for a drink in a trendy bar, terrace or rooftop. These activities are considered as part of leisure time as they allow people to chill out and change their mind.
- London is known for its exciting nightlife and for its nightclubs where you can dance until the end of the night. Abroad, Londoners even have a reputation for being serious party animals. In reality, clubbing is merely an occasional leisure activity, when there is something to celebrate or during holidays.
- Sport is an important part of Londoners’ leisure time: there are plenty of gyms in the city and many open early: many young working people start their day with a gym session and some enjoy letting off steam and tension after work.
An interesting fact is that most Londoners prefer a separate district from the one where they work for their leisure and social activities.