Emotional changes during leisure activity: A case of elderly japanese in a community program

William P. Stewart, Junya Fujimoto, Munehiko Harada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A growing body of literature in the social sciences has been directed at the causes and consequences of emotions. Although common sense suggests that leisure should be associated with increases in positive feelings and decreases in negative feelings, the collective evidence from leisure research is mixed. This study examined the emotional changes of elderly Japanese during programmed leisure activity. Community programs are emerging in Japan to engage senior citizens in leisure activities that provide positive benefits. Participants were enrolled in a 90-minute leisure activity class that met once a week for 10 weeks. On class days, participants were polled five times for a report of their emotional state. Two repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted to examine changes in participants' positive and negative emotions. Results indicated that both positive and negative emotions increased during leisure activity and returned to their prior levels shortly after the activity. At least two interpretations could explain the findings: (1) The physical arousal associated with leisure activity was a stimulus for all emotional experience; (2) Participants enjoyed the social aspects of their leisure which contributed to an increase in positive emotions, and their skill level did not match the challenge level of the leisure activity which contributed to an increase in negative emotions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225
Number of pages1
JournalLoisir et Societe
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Emotional changes during leisure activity: A case of elderly japanese in a community program'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this