Leisure time, leisure activities, and happiness in China: Evidence from a national survey

Xiang Wei, Songshan Sam Huang, Monika Stodolska, Yihua Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study utilized a nation-wide survey (n=73,622) to examine the associations of leisure time, leisure activities, and demographics with happiness among residents in China. Ordered logit regression analyses indicated that leisure time was positively associated with happiness. While passive leisure activities (e.g., watching TV, Internet surfing) were found to contribute to happiness, active leisure activities (e.g., exercising, socializing, and shopping) had no significant association with happiness. Among demographic variables, income was found to have a positive association with happiness; females were found to be generally happier than males, and urban residents happier than their rural counterparts. While age was surprisingly found to have no relation to happiness, education levels seemed to have varied non-linear relationships with happiness. The study contributes to empirically verifying the relationship between leisure and happiness and generates implications directing leisure policies and industry practices in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)556-576
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015


  • China
  • Chinese happiness
  • Leisure
  • Life satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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