Woman painting and drawing shot from above

Why having a hobby is good for your health

3361 views 1 min to read

Having a hobby is a great source of personal pleasure, but did you know it’s a key part of health and wellbeing?

The benefits of having a hobby

From pottery, golf, book clubs, Pilates, yoga, knitting to running, bushwalking or gardening, there’s a hobby out there for everyone.

Whether you chose to take up a sport, join a club or learn a new skill, hobbies add to the richness of life and have benefits to our physical and mental wellbeing. 

1. Reduce stress and improve your mood

Spending time on a hobby you love is fun and provides a distraction from the more mundane and difficult aspects of life.

People with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress and low mood. Plus, while many of the benefits are seemingly related to your mental wellbeing, it’s worth noting that anything that reduces stress has a positive benefit on your physical health as too. 

They’re pleasurable and provide distraction from some of the more mundane or difficult aspects of daily life and may improve mood.

2. Social connection

Hobbies give us a chance to explore new ideas, activities and relationships which can make life feel more meaningful and satisfying 

Having a hobby can improve feelings of self-esteem and social connection- there are friends with common interests, scintillating conversation and new skills to share out there that you haven’t yet met – all you need to do is get involved in a new (and social) hobby.  

3. Physical fitness

Taking up a sport or active hobby may improve fitness and cardiovascular health to the degree the sport offers. 

More obvious examples are running and bush walking; while golf, for example, can involve a lot of walking if you forgo the buggy. 

Team sports not only help to keep you physically fit but provide a sense of belonging and connection. People that are involved in team sport report feeling less stress than those that don’t.

4. General wellbeing & creativity

Hobbies fill time which might otherwise be spent engaging in less healthy past-times. If you are out and about, you’re not parked on the couch – and for some of us, this comes with a side dose of over-eating unhealthy snacks.

Engaging in creative pursuits increases feelings of wellbeing that last into the next day according to a team of New Zealand scientists. 

Playing a musical instrument, knitting and creative writing can all lead to an upward spiral of wellbeing and creativity. 

How to find a hobby

You might have an activity you’ve enjoyed but never made enough time for, or perhaps there is something you’ve always meant to try but haven’t got around to it. 
You could ask around your circle of friends and try a few out until you find something that works for you. 

Shire offices, libraries and sports arenas are also good places to do a little research – or if you know what you are after, a good old-fashioned Google  search can be a great start. 

Lots of activities have a state association that can refer you to local chapters and almost all hobbies have dedicated groups on Facebook that you can join.