Does active leisure improve worker well-being? : an experimental daily diary approach
Engagement in leisure activities during non-work hours has been associated with benefits to workers' general well-being through need fulfillment and satisfaction during leisure experiences. This study proposed an active leisure intervention that aims to improve workers' well-being. Based on the Job Demands-Resources model and Self-Determination Theory, this study explored whether an active leisure intervention is beneficial for leisure well-being (both subjective evaluation and need satisfaction components) across seven days and global subjective well-being. This study used an experimental daily diary study approach, which randomly assigned employed participants (N = 80) to engage in either an active leisure intervention for one week or receive no intervention. Participants in the active leisure intervention group experienced significantly higher level of life satisfaction and general positive affect after one week compared to those in no intervention group, after controlling pre-intervention subjective well-being. Multilevel modeling analyses were used to analyze daily leisure well-being outcomes collected over seven days. The active leisure intervention was effective in increasing competence during leisure, and this leisure competence mediated the effect of active leisure intervention on life satisfaction and general positive affect. Positive-activated leisure affect (i.e., active, excited) mediated the relationship between active leisure intervention and general positive affect. This research offers theoretical evidence that an active leisure intervention is effective among a working population and introducing a novel combination of experimental and daily diary designs. This intervention approach also has practical implications for organizations by providing insight into how to improve employee wellness through engagement in off-work positive activities.