More free time.
In developed countries more people have more leisure time available today than ever before. This is because the length of the working week has been shortened, annual holidays have been prolonged and the number of public holidays has been increased and the age at which people can retire from work has been lowered (although this situation can change very quickly if the world crisis doesn’t come to an end). At the same time people live longer to enjoy their retirement.
In order to cater for this enormous amount of free time and the money people can afford to spend on leisure, a vast leisure and entertainment business has emerged. This involves not only private organizations, providing everything from climbing holidays in the Himalayas to do-it-yourself equipment, but also thousands of voluntary and amateur organizations. From safaris to Kenya to future touristic trips to the moon.
There are now hundreds of ways in which our free time can be spent. However, the choices available to any single individual are going to be limited by a number of things: whether he lives in a big city, a small town or in the country or on the coast, money (or lack of it), age, availability of public and private transport, a person’s state of health, family duties and responsibilities, the season of the year and many other factors.
Leisure: is it always good?
But, does leisure always mean pleasure? The answer is no as it can cause serious problems: traffic jams on roads to popular holiday resorts, overcrowding and damage to beauty spots, trouble at football matches and so on. Many people have more free time than they know what to do with (some unemployed and retired people, for instance). This implies long periods of boredom with nothing to look forward to, a situation often caused by lack of money. Young people living in areas with little to offer them in their free time will sometimes turn to vandalism which is a serious problem nowadays.