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Transitions in Aging

Community Participation

Leisure Participation

Photo of older woman in swimming pool

  • Leisure is about doing things we like to do!

NEXT: How to Engage in Leisure Activities

Notes and References

So far, the different ways of being an active member in the community that we have explained have all had a common theme: being productive and giving our time to others.

However, we can also participate in our communities just by doing the things we like to do. Leisure occurs during our free time, and includes many different activities. For example, it can just be time spent relaxing.1 So any activities we like to do can be considered leisure activities.

Leisure participation can help us develop friendships and expand our social networks, which can be especially beneficial for us when we retire from our positions and don't get to see our friends at work as frequently. Participating in leisure activities helps us have fun and enjoy our free time. It can also help us live a healthy lifestyle.2 Also, researchers found that people with disabilities enjoy doing activities in the community and express a desire to be involved in more activities.3


  1. Payne, L., Ainsworth, B., & Gobey, G. (Eds.). (2010). Leisure, Health, and Wellness: Making the Connections. State College, PA: Venture Publishing, Inc.
  2. Fesko, S. L., Hall, A. C., Quinlan, J., & Jockell, C., (2012). Active aging for individuals with intellectual disability: Meaningful community participation through employment, retirement, service, and volunteerism. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 117(6), 497-508.
  3. Bigby, C., Balandin, S., Fyffe, C., McCubbery, J., & Gordon, M. (2004). Retirement or just a change of pace: An Australian national survey of disability day services used by older people with disabilities. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 29(3), 239-254.