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How hobbies can help your work life

Here's the evidence you need to take up that hobby you've always wanted to do

If you’re still trying to find that delicate work-life balance, some new research might help you. A recent study by researchers at Sheffield University found that those people who spent more time pursuing a hobby (whether it was dancing, sports, comedy) were also the people who strongly believed they could do their job well.

So, does this mean that spending lots of time in your hobby helps you feel good at work? It depends on what your hobby is. If your hobby is too similar to your work (e.g. an editor having a creative writing hobby) then there isn’t a link. But if your hobby is very different to your work, such as accountant having climbing as a hobby, then the more time you spend on it the better you feel about work.

It seems as if we have only so many resources (called the Conservation of Resources theory), and while being busy at different things can help each area of life, being busy with too many similar things takes away too much from one pot.

So, here’s the evidence you need to take up that hobby you’ve always wanted to. Make sure it is different to your work and then enjoy the benefits across the board. And if your manager needs any more convincing that a lunchtime run is good for you and for your work, point them in the direction of the research paper below:

C.M. Kelly, K. Strauss, J. Arnold, et al., The relationship between leisure activities and psychological resources that support a sustainable career: The role of leisure seriousness and work-leisure similarity, Journal of Vocational Behavior(2019),

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