Variable: Leisure (recreation)

Leisure (the culturally influenced ways we use our nonwork time) is an important institution in all but the most harsh human ecosystems (Cheek and Burch 1976). Several studies suggest that industrialized societies have less leisure time per capita than agricultural or pastoral ones (Burch and DeLuca 1984; Schor 1992). In industrialized societies, the recreation institution includes formally managed leisure opportunities (bowling alleys, wilderness areas, moviegoing, hunting, and fishing) as well as less formal pursuits (socializing, sexual behavior or courtship, resting) and specialized activities (holidays, festivals, and so forth). Leisure can be measured as an amount (hours per day per capita), as a level of participation (percentage of adults with hunting permits), human ecosystems in several ways, as through direct impacts on commerce (a boom or bust in the tourist industry) and by changing social norms (a decline in festival attendance or a change in gender participation).

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