Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Recreation

Recreation or fun is the expenditure of time in a manner designed for therapeutic refreshment of one's body or mind. While leisure is more likely a form of entertainment or rest, recreation is active for the participant but in a refreshing and diverting manner. As people in the world's wealthier regions lead increasingly sedentary life styles, the need for recreation has increased. The rise of so called active vacations exemplifies this.


Health

A few individuals view recreation as largely non-productive, even trivial. Excessive recreation is not considered healthy, and may be labeled as escapism. However, research has shown that recreation contributes to life satisfaction, quality of life, health and wellness, and that the use of recreation as a diversion may have clinical applications to individuals with chronic pain and other health impairments. In some cultures and religions, recreation is encouraged on certain days and discouraged on others. Recreation is essential to the longevity of human beings, especially because it helps counteract stress. According to research cited in Time magazine, stress is a major factor in many of the leading causes of death in the United States.[2]

Organized recreation

Recreation can become an organized activity of local governments and for-profit enterprises. Local governments often create parks boards and/or community centers. Growing interest and funding via grants and taxation can result in an official parks and recreation department, which provides venues and staffing for organised sports, at-risk-youth activities, arts and crafts, and senior citizen activities. Several U.S. state governments operate recreation programs for their prison populations. Though controversial, these programs are intended to provide inmates with constructive use of their time through access to music, hobbies, crafts and exercise equipment. Other possible benefits include reduced healthcare costs and a lower recidivism rate. Private organised recreation is usually focused on a specific type of sport such as river rafting or mountaineering.

Recreation as a career

Becoming a recreation specialist often requires a bachelor of arts degree in recreation management. A recreation specialist would be expected to meet the recreational needs of a community or assigned interest group. People with such degrees often work in parks and recreation centers in towns, on community projects and activities. Networking with instructors, budgeting, and evaluation of continuing programs are common job duties. Most U.S. states have a professional organization for continuing education and certification in recreation management. The National Recreation and Park Association administers an examination called the CPRP (Certified Park and Recreation Professional) that is considered a national standard for professional recreation specialist practices.[3]
Sources from Wikipedia

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