Importance of Leisure Activities

Angie Szumlinski Studies

We have all lived it, the Pandemic of 2020. Many of us have survived relatively unscathed, or so we think! In a recent study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, the researchers examined the association of occupational and leisure-time physical activity with job stress, burnout, and well-being among healthcare industry workers.

What they found was that health care workers who more time spent on leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) showed lower feelings of exhaustion whereas health care workers with more occupational physical activity (OPA) reported higher perceptions of job stress and exhaustion. Interesting study and honestly I believe all of us are somewhat aware of the importance of leisure-time physical activity and try to participate at some level on a regular basis.

Are your caregivers aware of the impact being “inactive” can have on their overall feelings of stress, fatigue, and well-being? My guess is that many caregivers don’t understand the connection. Why? Because many leave their 8-12 hour shift of caring for residents to go home and care for children and elderly parents. Many don’t have time to cook a decent meal in the evening, so telling them to take a walk in the evening will likely fall on deaf ears. Talk to your caregivers, understand where they are in their lives, and see if there is a way to help them. Maybe extend lunch hours by 15 minutes for an outdoor walk every other workday. It sounds simple but it isn’t and it isn’t without cost, but neither is the risk of caregiver burnout. Stop and evaluate your team, see if you can help! Stay well, stay informed, and stay tuned!