Changes in Leisure Activities Under Crisis Conditions

Agnieszka Sawinska
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXVI, Issue 3, 646-656, 2023
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/3239


Purpose: The aim of this paper is to identify changes in the recreational behaviour of the inhabitants of Polish municipalities bordering Germany, with particular emphasis on the impact of crisis situations on this behaviour. It was assumed that the Covid pandemic and the restrictions caused by it have affected most aspects of the lives of the inhabitants of the border municipalities, including their leisure-time behaviour and the leisure-time recreational activities undertaken. An additional objective was to investigate which physical activities are most popular and whether they differ between the inhabitants of the different provinces. Design/Methodology/Approach: The empirical part was based on a survey conducted using the CATI method in 2021. The survey was conducted on a representative group of 1,068 inhabitants of border communes of three voivodeships: West Pomeranian, Lubusz and Lower Silesian, with a target-quota selection of respondents taking into account characteristics such as age, gender and place of residence. The theoretical part of the article is based on a review of the literature on recreational activities. Findings: Activities defined as physical recreation have not changed significantly compared to the period before the Covid pandemic. Passive recreational activities, on the other hand, have increased, which should be considered a worrying phenomenon. As the study showed, the most popular physical activities undertaken by the inhabitants of the border municipalities are those carried out in public space, close to their place of residence. Walking, cycling, running and gardening are the activities most frequently chosen. However, walking was indicated as a fairly regular activity by almost 56% of respondents, gardening by 21%, cycling by less than 33% and running by only 14%. The proportion of other activities was much lower. Considering the positive impact of physical activity on health and cognitive functions of a person, it is necessary to carry out activities supporting the improvement of physical activity of the inhabitants of border municipalities. Practical Implications: The identification of the most preferred forms of active recreation, mainly undertaken outdoors, in the immediate living space can contribute to the development of recreational infrastructure and multi-group friendly recreational space by local authorities and other social policy actors. These activities can contribute to promoting behaviour that has a positive impact on the health and quality of life of residents, counteracting destructive behaviour or bridging the gap between different territorial units. Originality/Value: Previous research related to recreational activity is mostly very general and mainly concerned with its gender differentiation. Looking at the impact of crisis-like changes (Panademia Covid) on the differentiation of recreational activities provides a new perspective on the problem.

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