The contribution of various types of activities to recovery

J. Rook, F.R.H. Zijlstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Stress and fatigue caused by work require daily recovery periods to offset future deleterious consequences to mental and physical health. The aim, therefore, of the current study was to gain insight into recovery processes during a normal week. The main hypotheses were that more time spent on work and work-related activities will have a negative impact on recovery, while more time spent on specific leisure activities would have a beneficial impact on recovery. Using diaries, 46 respondents (average age of 35) provided daily measures of fatigue, sleep, and time spent on recovery activities over 7 days. Recovery activities included time spent on activities that were social, physical, and work-related. Results indicated that whilst low effort and social activities are nonbeneficial to recovery, physical activities significantly predict recovery (i.e., the former increase fatigue whilst the latter decrease fatigue). Sleep quality also emerges as a significant predictor of recovery. The weekend respite appears important to recovery; however, the effect seems already to wane on sunday evening in anticipation of the monday workload. The article provides insights into leisure activities and the experience of fatigue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-240
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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