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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

March 26, 2018 - 9:28am -- Anonymous

Spring is a time to make changes for the year.  If I were to ask, what your latest hobby is, what would you say?  For some there would be a quick answer and for others I’m guessing they would say, “I don’t have time for a hobby”.  A co-worker of mine, Lisa Barlage from Ross County wrote a blog post  ( )  that I’d like to share with you.   Not only do hobbies help with our physical and mental health, but they allow us to take time for ourselves giving us time to rejuvenate with the things that we enjoy.  Here are some additional benefits:

  • A Sense of Accomplishment – If you are having trouble finishing a difficult task at work, you may find satisfaction by completing a project on your own like a quilt, painting, finishing a book, or a 5K.
  • Social Support System – Often hobbies involve things you can do with others, be it volunteering with Relay for Life or Habitat for Humanity, or joining a just for fun sports league like softball.
  • Preventing Burnout – A hobby may provide fun and something to look forward to after a hard day at work or a stressful time taking care of family members.
  • Improved Physical Health – Studies show that when you engage in enjoyable free time activities you have lower blood pressure and a lower Body Mass Index (or BMI) even if the hobby isn’t necessarily active.
  • Better Work Performance – Studies also have found that employees who have creative hobbies are more satisfied with their jobs and are often more creative with work projects.

Children benefit from hobbies by having a higher self-esteem, learning patience and social skills, and developing critical thinking skills and creativity. We all know that play is a child’s way of gaining knowledge to build upon.  Hobbies help them learn many skills that are essential in life like reading and math but they make it fun and interesting.  Encourage younger children to try several activities as hobbies – think something physical, creative, and mental (geocaching, crafting, music, cooking, or even magic). Exploring hobbies are a great way to help them identify what they enjoy and want to pursue and what things they can let go of.  Another bonus to supporting a child’s interest is that you are spending time together.  Building relationships, conversational skills and celebrating the joy of specific accomplishments will go a long way as they age and realize you can be there to ask the hard questions in life too.  While some children may consider gaming to be a hobby, encourage them to have other hobbies that don’t use a computer or TV to limit screen time.  Set family goals for vacations that support some of the similar family hobbies and let everyone work towards making that happen.

4-H clubs are ideal places to share a hobby with others or take up a new one. A sampling of club activities includes archery, model airplane building, horseback riding, photography, doll making, computers, electronics, nature study collections, fishing, sewing and fiber crafts, puppetry, cooking, dog obedience training and gardening. For more information on 4-H programs contact our office at 330-264-8722.  Enrollment deadline is April 1.

Hobbies provide both physical and mental health benefits to adults and children. A hidden benefit for adults may be that companies report looking for employees who have hobbies. They feel these employees are more balanced, less stressed, and more creative at work.